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Belize City Council calls on all to show support in ending sexual violence on National Denim Day

Posted: Tuesday, April 25, 2023. 9:25 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Denim Day is being held to spread awareness around sexual violence issues and to support survivors.

The Belize City Council is inviting all Belizeans to join in showing support for ending sexual violence by wearing denims and displaying with a purpose on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

The Denim Day organization shared the story that inspired Denim Day.

The Denim Day story began in Italy in 1992, when an 18-year old girl was raped by the 45-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. 

Years later, he appealed the conviction claiming that they had consensual sex. 

The Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction and the perpetrator was released. 

A statement from the Court argued that because the victim was wearing very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was not rape but consensual sex. This became known throughout Italy as the “jeans alibi.”

Enraged by the verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament launched a protest wearing jeans on the steps of the Supreme Court. 

This protest was picked up by international media which inspired the California Senate and Assembly to do the same on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento. Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, saw this in the media and thought everyone should be wearing jeans to protest all of the myths about why women and girls are raped. Denim Day in LA was born. 

The first Denim Day in LA event was held in April of 1999, and has continued annually since.

Join millions across the world as we wear jeans with a purpose and show our support for survivors and raise awareness on all forms of sexual violence.


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