During the month of April, the University of Florida will be participating in National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (NSAAM) with partners throughout the enterprise engaging in conversations and social media campaigns on the topic of sexual assault. The culmination of the month’s awareness campaign will end with Denim Day on April 26th, 2023.
Denim Day was born out of an Italian Supreme Court case from the 1990’s regarding a 45-year old driving instructor who took an 18-year old victim to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, removed her jeans, and forcefully raped her. He was convicted of rape and sentenced to jail, but years later, on appeal the Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction. The Court stated that because the victim was wearing very tight jeans, she had to have helped him remove them. The Court stated that by removing the jeans the sex was consensual and not rape; this became known in Italy as the “jeans alibi”. Members of the Italian Parliament protested this decision by wearing jeans on the steps of the Supreme Court, which inspired the California Senate to do the same. The first Denim Day was held in April 1999 in the United States and has been held every April since.1
Denim Day brings awareness to victim blaming and sexual assault myths. It is also a way for the university to participate in a no-cost enterprise-wide campaign to combat misconceptions around sexual violence and highlight an important campus safety concern that directly impacts our community.
As the university states in every Timely Warning:
The University of Florida strongly believes that no person is responsible for harm inflicted by another person.
In partnership with the Clery Compliance Program, offices across the university will be participating in NSAAM and Denim Day, including the University of Florida Police Department, the Office for Victim Advocates, Student Life, GatorWell, and others.
We ask that you and your divisions join us this April to combat sexual violence by wearing denim on April 26th and by participating in the month-long conversation on sexual assault prevention and awareness!