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National Denim Day was started in April 1999 by Peace Over Violence due to the overturning of a 1992 rape conviction by the Italian Supreme Court and the resulting protests. This court ruling included that the victim was wearing tight jeans that her assailant would have needed her help to remove, meaning she must have consented to sex. The women in the Italian Parliament were so outraged they began wearing jeans to Parliament in protest of the court ruling and to support the victim. The protest and story were picked up by international media and resulted in people around the world wearing denim in solidarity with the women of Italian Parliament and the assault victim. National Denim Day is important because it sparks conversation about the false myths for why people are raped. It sheds light on the truth that no clothing or behavior invites rape, and that blame is solely on the rapist. People have been celebrating National Denim Day annually since 1999 by wearing denim on a Wednesday in April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Join UMSL and Tritons United: Against Gender-Based Violence by wearing denim in support of ending sexual violence!
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