(Las Vegas, NV) Denim Day began in 1999 and is an awareness campaign for rape and sexual assault.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and her staff will wear denim Wednesday as she will release Domestic Violence Fatality Review Statewide Team information in Elko. http://1.usa.gov/ZMWztX

The story began in 1997 when an 18-year old girl is picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He takes her to an isolated road, pulls her out of the car, wrestles her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully rapes her.

Threatened with death if she tells anyone, he makes her drive the car home. Later that night she tells her parents, and they help and support her to press charges. The perpetrator gets arrested and is prosecuted. He is convicted of rape and sentenced to jail.

He appeals the sentence. The case makes it’s all the way to the Italian Supreme Court. Within a matter of days the case against the driving instructor is overturned, dismissed, and the perpetrator released.

In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, “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.”

“Denim Day will bring awareness to not only sexual assault but a fashion statment as a visible means of a protest against misconceptions that sorround sexual statement,” says Cortez Masto.

Enraged by the verdict, within a matter of hours the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in LA was born. The first Denim Day in LA was in April 1999, and has continued every year since.

“To me, Denim Day is a great example of educational awareness and how we can highlight sexual assault awareness month,” says Cortez Masto.

The Denim Day has been promoted in Nevada for several years and it has now grown into a statewide initiative sponsored by NCASV and ScrapDV in 2013.

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