Advocates and sexual assault survivors around the world today are wearing denim and showing it off in support of the 20th anniversary of “Denim Day.”
“The world comes together and shows support for survivors and ending sexual violence by wearing denim,” said Jolene Cardenas, with the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, herself dressed in denim jeans and vest.
The day started back in 1999 as a response to an I talian rape conviction that was overturned , because judges felt that what the victim was wearing was inviting an assault.
“A judge declared that there was obviously consent,” Cardenas explains, “because the woman was wearing tight jeans and would have had to help to remove her jeans.”
Cardenas said today is about putting an end to that kind of thinking.
“We are going to end rape culture and that starts by stopping the victim blaming,” Cardenas says. “I don’t want to be judged for what I’m wearing or who I’m talking to or where I’m going. If something were to happen and I’m a victim of violence, I want to make sure that my voice is heard.”
Cardenas says the Me Too movement has helped the cause, because victims feel more comfortable sharing their stories.
“It’s a survivor-led movement, which just shows you the impact of what it means to be a survivor and a leader,” says Cardenas. “It’s fantastic that people are now talking about sexual violence and harassment.”