People listen to speakers during Denim Day at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. Denim Day started in 1999 and is the world’s largest and longest running sexual assault awareness and education campaign. Denim Day began after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction due to the presumption that the victim’s jeans were too tight for her perpetrator to remove alone. Thus, the justices asserted that she must have actively participated in removing her jeans, thereby implying her consent.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

It wasn’t until after a suicide attempt following his graduation that Ash — a sexual assault survivor — was able to access resources to begin to heal from and process the assault.

Standing before a crowd gathered on the Utah Capitol steps, he expressed gratitude for the organizations and advocates in those moments.

“I stand before you now as a healing member of the queer community who works a job, volunteers their time planning trans events, giving back to the unsheltered community and much more. Thank you,” he said.

The crowd was filled with local leaders, law enforcement, advocates and survivors dressed in denim. The attire of the crowd represented Denim Day, a day of action held on the last Wednesday of April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The day began as a campaign after a ruling in 1988 by the Italian Supreme Court that overturned the conviction in a high-profile rape trial. The court reasoned that a victim who was wearing “tight” jeans must’ve consented or aided in their removal. After the court’s decision, members of the Italian parliament wore jeans to protest the decision.

“I just want to reiterate, so there isn’t any confusion, clothing does not equal consent. Rapists are the only cause for rape and that’s why we’re here today,” said Nick Arteaga, prevention coordinator at the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Wearing jeans became an international symbol of protest regarding victim shaming and blaming. States across the United States have also recognized Denim Day in April.

“Denim Day aims to expose and defy the erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual violence. Excuses allow the perpetuation of victim-blaming and upholding of rape culture in our communities,” …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

Denim Day: Utah leaders call for better support for sexual assault victims

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