Statement from Alderwoman Chantia Lewis

Today I join others in wearing denim to dispel harmful myths about sexual violence and survivors.

Denim Day was developed in response to a rape conviction overturned by the Italian Supreme Court in 1999. The justices stated that removing tight fitting jeans could not be possible if the victim were struggling; therefore, the victim must have assisted the attacker in removing her jeans, which they felt implied consent.

Wearing jeans during this annual event has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. Women’s choice of fashion has nothing to with the crimes inflicted upon them. Assault is the real crime, not choice of clothing.

Let us not forget there is never an excuse to abuse or harm someone else. And as we recognize Denim Day and April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, let us be ever vigilant against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault

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