April 9, 2014

An international movement which aims to make a social statement with a fashion statement is being launched in Halifax Regional Municipality by Avalon Sexual Assault Centre. On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Avalon is encouraging people throughout Halifax to wear jeans in support of sexual assault survivors.

“The movement started in Italy in the 1990s after a rape conviction was overturned,” says Jackie Stevens, Executive Director of Avalon Sexual Assault Centre. “The court ruled that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped to take them off and therefore consented. Following that decision, women politicians wore jeans in the Italian parliament in solidarity with the victim.”

Denim Day has been coordinated for more than 15 years in the United States by an organization called Peace Over Violence. Last year, more than 10 million people participated across the United States.

Stevens says, “What is great about the Denim Day movement is that it reinforces the message to sexual assault victims/survivors that it doesn’t matter what you are wearing, what you are drinking, or any other behaviour. The only person responsible for sexual assault is the perpetrator and there is never an excuse or invitation to commit this crime. We’re thrilled to bring that message to HRM this year as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”

For more information about Denim Day and how to get involved, please visit www.avaloncentre.ca/denimday.