Department of Family Services – Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
703-324-5730 TTY 711
12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building, Floor 7, Suite 740
Fairfax, VA 22035
Toni Zollicoffer

Denim Day

exit website button circle  SAFETY ALERT – If you are in danger, call or text 911.

denim jeans on hangersThere is no excuse and never an invitation to rape.

The Denim Day story started in Italy in 1992, when an 18-year-old girl was raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor. On an isolated road, he pulled her out of the car, removed her jeans, and raped her.

She reported the rape; her rapist was convicted and sentenced to jail. He appealed the conviction, claiming they had consensual sex. The Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction and released him. The Court explained its decision: The victim was wearing very tight jeans, so she had to help him remove them, implying consent. 

This became known throughout Italy as the “jeans alibi.”

The verdict enraged women in the Italian Parliament, who launched a protest wearing jeans to work the next day. Their protest was picked up by international media, which prompted members of the California Senate and Assembly to do the same on the steps of the capitol in Sacramento. 

Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, executive director of Peace Over Violence, saw the protests and thought everyone should wear jeans to protest all myths about why women and girls are raped. In April 1999, Denim Day was born in Los Angeles. It has become an annual event. 

What started as a local campaign to bring awareness to victim blaming and the destructive myths that surround sexual violence has grown into a movement. As the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history, Denim Day asks everyone—from community members and elected officials to businesspeople and students--to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence.

On Denim Day, Wednesday, April 24, 2024, I will:

  • wear jeans or denim as a visible demonstration of support for survivors of sexual assault.
  • take selfies to share on social media with the hashtag #denimday.

To help end sexual assault, I will: 

  • Speak out against jokes or attitudes that make light of or promote sexual violence or harassment. 
  • Recognize and speak up when hearing statements that blame victims. 
  • Talk to peers, family, or friends about these critical issues, 

If I know a survivor, I will:

  • Let them share their story, believe what they say, and offer unconditional support. 
  • Communicate without judgment, blame, or pity. 
  • Assure them it wasn’t their fault.
  • Share resources, including the Domestic and Sexual Violence 24-Hour Hotline: 703-360-7273.


Learn about the Department of Family Services' Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS).

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(return to Sexual Assault Awareness Month)

Fairfax Virtual Assistant