MILWAUKEE – Mayor Tom Barrett is calling on all Milwaukee area residents to wear jeans on Wednesday, April 26, as a sign of support for local survivors of sexual assault. The effort is part of the sixth annual Denim Day Milwaukee.
“We need every person in our community to join our efforts in ending sexual violence,” said Mayor Barrett. “I ask every individual, employer, and organization to wear jeans tomorrow as a message of support for survivors. Milwaukee remains dedicated in our efforts to continue the conversation, raise awareness of this issue and involve all segments of our community in putting an end to sexual violence.”
Denim Day Milwaukee is part of an international awareness day that began after an Italian woman was raped by her driving instructor. The instructor was convicted, but the sentence was overturned after a court determined that because the victim wore tight jeans and may have helped remove them, the attack on her was consensual sex. The verdict motivated women in the Italian Parliament to wear jeans in solidarity with the victim. The movement has now spread into an international awareness day during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Denim Day Milwaukee has evolved from a single day into a month-long event. This year, local efforts include a denim display on Wisconsin Avenue, as well as awareness events and activities throughout the month.
Those interested in participating can find toolkits and materials at www.denimdaymke.org.
Denim Day Milwaukee is coordinated and supported by a collaborative group of more than 20 partner organizations, including the City of Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.