Denim Day throughout the years
1992, Rome, Italy —
An 18-year-old girl was raped by the 45-year year old driving instructor who was taking her to her very first driving lesson. He took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, removed her jeans and forcefully raped her. She reports the rape and the perpetrator is arrested and prosecuted. He is then convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.
1999, Rome, Italy —
The driving instructor appeals the sentence, claiming that they had consensual sex. The case makes it all the way to the Italian High Court where the conviction is overturned and he is released.
Enraged by this verdict women of the Italian parliament protested by wearing jeans to work. As decisions of the news spread so did the protests.
1999, Denim Day in Los Angeles —
A statement from the Court argued that because the victim wore very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex. This became known throughout Italy as the “jeans alibi.” Enraged by the verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans on the steps of the Supreme Court. This protest was picked up by international media and eventually spread to LA. Inspired, Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, thought everyone should be wearing jeans to protest all of the myths about why women are raped.
Every year since 1999 —
Peace Over Violence has organized Denim Day, which has evolved Nationally and Internationally, to become an award winning rape prevention education campaign, which asks community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion statement. Wearing jeans on this anniversary has become an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual violence.
2011, Denim Day U.S.A. —
After 12 year of hosting Denim Day in L.A., Peace Over Violence launches Denim Day USA with over 20 states observing and joining the campaign, nationwide.
2014 Official Fashion Sponsor —
Global lifestyle brand GUESS? and the GUESS Foundation sign on as the Official Fashion Sponsor of Denim Day.
2014 Spokescouple, Music & Arts —
The global lifestyle brand GUESS?, Inc. and the GUESS Foundation became the official fashion sponsor of Denim Day. Musician and artivist, Aloe Blacc and emcee Maya Jupiter lend their voice for Denim Day and bring music and arts to the campaign.
2015 First Denim Day in Italy —
In 2015, the GUESS Foundation, partnering with local agencies, brought the campaign back to its birthplace, Italy, for the Denim Day Europe.
2016 Denim Day Goes Global —
Denim Day Spain is established and observed on May 2nd. Denim Day reaches over 100 countries becoming a global campaign.
2016 Campus Activation —
USC becomes the first official college campus activation hosted by GUESS? and Peace Over Violence.
FIGHTING RAPE CULTURE ONLINE
The #YesAllWomen and #WhatWereYouWearing hashtags flooded social media in response to the Isla Vista shooting.
Sexual violence awareness is expanded into online activism when the #MeToo movement became viral.