Just over a year ago I came out as a sexual assault survivor. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, telling my family that I had been keeping this a secret from them for 15 years. But at the same time it was a weight off my shoulders, soul and mind.
Today is National Denim Day. A day to wear denim (jeans, skirts, jackets, ties, jumpsuits, anything) as a united front and stand up against the myths that surround sexual assault. To say as a country, and a world, that it doesn't matter what someone wears they are never "asking" to be raped.
There is no excuse for rape.
National Denim Day become official 14 years ago in response to a rape case in Italy. In 1990 a young teenage girl was sexually assaulted by her driving instructor. He was found guilty of rape but later had this case overturned on appeal by the Italian Supreme Court. Their justification was that the young girls jeans had been so tight there was no way he could have removed them by himself. She would have had to help. Therefore it wasn't rape but consensual sex.
In an outrage and within hours of the decision, women everywhere flocked to the steps of their Supreme Courts wearing jeans declaring there was no excuse for rape! Today the tradition of wearing jeans during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) continues.
One on One.
One by One.
We must show our support for survivors and stand up against power based personal violence of all kinds because:
- Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
- 82.8% of rapes committed by an intimate (family/friend) are not reported to police.
- Two million children around the world are forced into prostitution every year - including here in the United States.
- 15,000 to 19,000 people with developmental disabilities are raped each year in the North America.
if you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault please call the National Rape Crisis Hotline 1.800.656.HOPE or your local Rape Crisis center.