Sugar Land joined millions across the country wearing denim to raise awareness of sexual violence issues and support survivors of sexual assault.
The Denim Day movement was first organized by a group called Peace Over Violence in 1999. The California-based organization drew inspiration from women in Italy protesting a judge’s reversal of a rape conviction.
An 18-year old Italian girl was picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, wrestled her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully raped her.
Threatened with death if she told anyone, the instructor made her drive the car home. Later that night, the girl told her parents and reported the incident to police. The 45-year-old man was arrested, convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.
The case was appealed and eventually heard by the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor was overturned, and the driving instructor released from jail. A statement by the chief judge read, “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.”
Within hours of the judge’s verdict, women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans to work. The California Senate and Assembly emulated the Italians, and Denim Day has since been recognized every year.
The Sugar Land Police Department’s Victim Assistance Program strives to have a positive impact in providing appropriate responses to the needs of all crime victims to lessen the short and long-term trauma experienced as a direct result of victimization. In addition, one of the many goals of the program is to aid victims through the criminal justice process.
Call (281) 275-2933 for more information about SLPD’s Crime Victim Assistance program.