Denim Day grew from a 1999 court ruling in which the Italian High Court overturned a rape conviction, arguing that because the victim was wearing tight jeans at the time of the assault she must have been conferring consent. The ruling provoked outrage + wearing denim on the anniversary became an international expression of protest against misguided attitudes about sexual violence.
The full story
In 1998, a teenage girl in Italy was raped by her driving instructor. The girl was held down on the ground + threatened. He was tried, convicted + sentenced to jail. His case went to the Supreme Court of Appeals in Rome. The court overturned the original ruling stating that because the victim wore very tight jeans she must have had to help remove them, thereby giving consent to have sex.
How Fashion Week Brooklyn is Championing The Cause in New York
Sexual Assault Awareness + Prevention Month is each year in April. #DenimDay is on 29 April. As South African ambassador for Fashion Week Brooklyn, I’m working with them on their campaign to champion this cause in New York. The partnership comes as a move to strengthen global ties between USA + South Africa, under the UN Millenium Goals for 2015. Fashion Week Brooklyn provides an awesome opportunity to South African designers to show their collection on the runway in New York. A competition is held every year for design hopefuls to be chosen by the show’s directors. The selected winner will show their fashion alongside other talented designers at what is arguably one of the biggest global fashion events of the year. *Note they must pay for their flights + accommodation or find a corporate sponsor to do so. Being part of such a show gives them a great opportunity to showcase their designs abroad + can open many doors. You can be sure they’ll be bloggers + press from all over the country. It’s a great way to attract overseas investment + business. The exposure is phenomenal! See details of last year’s competition here: + Attention South African Designers & Models + Shoot with BK Style for Fashion Week Brooklyn + Fashion Week Brooklyn Save The Date + Fashion Week Brooklyn Welcomes SA Designers
Here are some images of our campaign on the streets for the cause. We shot in Soho, Manhattan + Williamsburg, Brooklyn. On 29 April, artists, designers, models, college students + fashionistas are walking across Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall styled in Denim to support the cause of #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth. Join the conversation by uploading your denim outfit + using the hashtag #DenimDay or #DenimDayNYC.
What is Sexual Assault?
Statistics in the US:
+ 80% of victims are under the age of 30
+ 293, 000 victims of sexual assault annually
+ 68% of sexual assault cases are not reported to the police
+ 98% of rapists will never spend a day in prison
+ Approximately 2/3rds of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim
+ 38% of rapists are a friend
*statistics from RAINN / Rape Abuse Incest National Network
Statistics in South Africa:
+ 62,649 cases of sexual assault reported in 2013/14
+ Some of the highest incidences of child and baby rape in the world, with more than 67,000 cases of rape and sexual assaults in 2000
+ A study in 2013 of 1991 grade nine boys at 46 secondary schools in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth found that 17.2% had raped
+ According to University of Durban-Westville anthropology lecturer and researcher Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala, the myth that sex with a virgin is a cure for AIDS is not confined to South Africa
In South Africa, 144 women report rape to police every day – that is six cases reported every hour. While the number of reported rape incidents is shocking, under-reporting is an even bigger problem. The Medical Research Council’s (MRC) latest research reveals that only one in 25 women in Gauteng report rape.
Commit to ending sexual violence in your community!
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