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On April 24, 2013, in observance of “Denim Day,” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen participated in the annual ceremony at the State Capitol hosted by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA).
“April marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and trading office apparel for denim is an excellent way to raise awareness and spark meaningful discussion about an important topic,” Attorney General Van Hollen said.
“Denim Day” began as a response to a sexual assault case in Italy in the 1990s. An 18-year old girl was raped by her married, 45-year-old driving instructor. Although the assailant initially was convicted, the Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction and dismissed the case. The Chief Judge found “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, the women in the Italian Parliament protested the decision by wearing jeans to work. This call to action has motivated others to do the same in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
McKenna Nerone, a Wauwatosa East senior high school student, participated in the 2013 ceremony. For more information about her efforts to highlight Denim Day, see this article.
For more information about Denim Day in Wisconsin, see the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault website www.wcasa.org.