The message of Denim Day is There is No Excuse and Never an Invitation to Rape. Its origin began in 1998 when Italian women lawmakers wore jeans to Parliament to protest the highest court of appeals ruling that a victim could not have been raped if she was wearing tight jeans because she would have had to cooperate in taking them off.
Peace Over Violence Executive Director Patti Giggans organized the first Denim Day event in 1999 and in 2011 it grew into a national movement. It's mission is to 'Wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors and educate yourself and other about sexual assault.' Peace over Violence is a sexual and domestic violence, stalking, child abuse and youth violence prevention center in Los Angeles.
National Denim Day began as a part of April's Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Although it's just one day the theme this year during the rally and encouraged by Patti Giggans and Guess? Chairman Maurice Marciano was to continue spreading the message throughout the year. Guess? and its Guess? Foundation has become a very active partner kicking off a fundraiser on April 20th and donating $2 for every pair of Jeans and select accessories sold in their stores to Peace Over Violence which is a nonprofit organization with a total reaching over $150,000.
Also in attendance were Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who gave an inspirational speech and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck who shared his decades long commitment to sexual violence victims as part of his law enforcement career. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey told us the work her office is doing to prosecute sexual predators and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas gave an uplifting, motivational speech to all in attendance that day.
Finally, we were treated to musical performances by spokespersons and recording artists Aloe Blacc and Maya Jupiter. Maya Jupiter wrote and performed a very special song 'Never Said Yes' inspired by the film The Hunting Ground which exposes the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses. The song download is available for free through May 8th.
I met so many great people that day who all have the same goal as I do which is to spread sexual assault awareness worldwide and end sexual violence for once and for all. To learn more about Peace Over Violence, Denim Day or download Maya Jupiter's song I have provided links below.