More than fashion

LIHUE — Theresa Koki of Life’s Choices will be wearing denim on Wednesday.

She won’t be the only one.

“There will be lots of other people who will wear jeans on that day as well,” Koki said. “Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. wants everyone to wear jeans. Not just to wear jeans, but to remember why we’re wearing denim.”

Denim Day, designated on April 29, is a part of April Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The jeans are visual sign of protest against sexual violence and the misconceptions which surround sexual assault. It stems from a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court in which a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt the victim was wearing tight jeans so must have helped her rapist remove them.

It instigated a worldwide movement on grounds that the overruling showed that victim implied consent just by wearing jeans. 

Following the ruling, the women in the Italian Parliment wore jeans to work to protest the ruling and in April 1999, a social service agency in Los Angeles established the first Denim Day in the United States.

Kauai’s Denim Day is hosted by the Zonta Club of Hanalei and the Zonta Club of Kauai, Life’s Choices and the Kauai Violence Prevention Coalition.

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