What is Denim Day During Sexual Assault Awareness Month?

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Denim Day 2023: There is No Excuse for Sexual Violence

Denim Day 2023: There is No Excuse for Sexual Violence

Apr 26, 2023

Denim Day takes place each year on the last Wednesday in April as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). It is a day of action, awareness, and education that encourages sexual assault allies, advocates, and survivors to wear denim in an effort to discourage victim blaming. Denim Day is considered an opportunity for everyone to practice solidarity and support survivors by renewing our ongoing commitment to exposing harmful behaviors and attitudes surrounding sexual violence (year-round – and not simply in April).

Peace Over Violence, a sexual and domestic violence, intimate partner stalking, child abuse, and youth violence prevention center headquartered in Los Angeles, has run a Denim Day campaign for the past 24 years. The nonprofit organization describes Denim Day as a “powerful opportunity to practice solidarity and support survivors by renewing our commitment to exposing harmful behaviors and attitudes surrounding sexual violence.

What is the Meaning Behind Denim Day?

Denim Day was initiated following a controversial Italian Supreme Court ruling which overturned a rape conviction.

In 1992, an 18-year-old girl was raped by a married 45-year-old driving instructor. After picking the teen up for a driving lesson, the man took her to an isolated road, pulled her from the vehicle, and proceeded to forcefully rape her. The male sexual predator threatened to kill her if she told authorities about the sexual assault.

The teenage survivor courageously disclosed the incident to her parents that evening, and they helped her press charges. The man was arrested and prosecuted for rape. He was ultimately convicted and sentenced to jail.

However, he appealed his sentence, and as Peace Over Violence notes on their website, the case went all the way to the Italian Supreme Court.

“Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor is overturned, dismissed, and the perpetrator released. In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, ‘because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex,'” Peace Over Violence said.

The argument became known as the “jeans alibi.

The women of the Italian parliament were outraged at the verdict and took immediate action. They protested wearing jeans to their workplace. The California Senate and Assembly were also inspired through this call to action and began their own protests in solidarity. In turn, through the action by the Italian Parliament and California Senate, Patricia Giggans of Peace Over Violence was inspired to start the campaign, and Denim Day L.A. was born. Denim Day was first celebrated in Los Angeles in April 1999 and has been held every year since.

According to the DenimDay.org website, Giggans “thought everyone should be wearing jeans to protest all of the myths about why women and girls are raped.”

As Peace Over Violence notes:

There is no excuse and never an invitation to rape.

There is no excuse and never an invitation to rape

Denim Day Highlights Why “No” Always Means No

One of the most common themes highlighted during Denim Day is that “no” always means no – and sex without consent is always a crime.

“As the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history, Denim Day asks community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion statement by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence,” Peace Over Violence said.

For more information on how to get involved in the movement to end sexual violence, please visit the Peace Over Violence website.

California Opens 3-Year Window for Sexual Assault Survivors to Sue for Damages

An important new California law known as the Sexual Abuse And Cover-Up Accountability Act (or Assembly Bill 2777/AB 2777) affords adult survivors of sexual assault the opportunity to file civil claims for financial compensation without being barred by the statute of limitations. AB 2777 opens a three-year window for any sexual assault or sex crime which occurred on or after January 1, 2009.

AB 2777 ensures that, December 31, 2026, claims seeking to recover damages suffered as a result of a sexual assault that occurred on or after 2009 (that would otherwise have been barred solely because the statute of limitations has or had expired) are officially revived.

Additionally, claims seeking to recover damages suffered as a result of a sexual assault that occurred on or after the plaintiff’s 18th birthday are revived when one or more entities are legally responsible for damages and the entity or their agents engaged in a cover-up, as defined, and any related claims.

Under AB 2777, a sexual assault cover-up is defined as:

“A concerted effort to hide evidence relating to a sexual assault that incentivizes individuals to remain silent or prevents information relating to a sexual assault from becoming public or being disclosed to the plaintiff, including, but not limited to, the use of nondisclosure agreements or confidentiality agreements.”

However, claims that have been litigated to finality before January 1, 2023 or claims that have been compromised by written settlement agreements entered into before that date are not revived under California AB 2777.

In other words, AB 2777 provides all adult survivors of sexual assault with an opportunity to file new civil claims for damages for crimes which occurred after January 1, 2009. This new law applies to all forms of sexual violence, such as:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual misconduct

As a result, from now until December 31, 2026, all adult survivors of California sexual assault may file civil lawsuits with Dordulian Law Group (DLG) in an effort to recover damages and financial compensation.

Sexual assault survivors may be awarded various damages through AB 2777 lawsuits, such as:

  • Emotional harm/trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological distress
  • Counseling and therapy expenses (past and future)
  • Related medical care costs (past and future)
  • Punitive damages
  • Lost wages and/or diminished future earning capacity
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Prescription drug costs (past and future)

Filing a sexual assault civil lawsuit is often an empowering option for survivors, allowing you to take control and secure the justice you deserve while also obtaining due financial compensation.

Contact DLG Today for a Free Consultation About Your Sexual Assault Claim

DLG offers survivors of sexual assault proven expert legal representation as well as a support network of professionals that are available as needed throughout the litigation process. DLG’s SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts) is a unique four-tiered form of legal assistance that prioritizes the overall well-being of survivors:

  • Tier I: Litigation team of sexual assault lawyers headed by Sam Dordulian, a former sex crimes prosecutor/Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County with more than 25 years of experience fighting for justice on behalf of survivors. Dordulian has secured more than 100 jury trial victories and helped clients like you obtain over $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts.
  • Tier II: A licensed and accredited victim advocate dedicated to assisting survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse.
  • Tier III: An in-house clinical therapist with more than 15 years of experience.
  • Tier IV: An in-house Chief Investigator and retired LAPD sex crimes detective with 30 years of experience.

Sam Dordulian founded DLG to be a different kind of law firm that specializes in supporting survivors throughout every step of the litigation process while also fighting tirelessly to secure justice on their behalf. As a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council with over 100 jury trial victories, Mr. Dordulian offers survivors like you peace of mind through an unparalleled level of experience, commitment, and proven results.

Dordulian and his team of Los Angeles, California, sexual assault lawyers have helped survivors secure countless multi-million dollar sex crime settlements. Some of our recent case victories include:

  • A confidential maximum financial settlement for a women assaulted by an employer – although the incident involved minimal contact, our attorneys were able to secure the damages award under the eggshell plaintiff rule
  • A $2,250,000.00 settlement for a survivor raped by a rideshare driver
  • A confidential multi-million dollar settlement for a client who was raped by a man she met on a ‘Sugar Daddy’ website
  • A $2,000,000.00 child sexual abuse settlement under California AB 218

Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

DLG’s top-rated California sexual assault attorneys will fight aggressively to help you obtain the justice and maximum financial compensation you deserve for your case.

Contact us today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM to discuss your sexual assault case with one of our team members.

Go See Sam