Who We Are
Denim Day NYC is a coalition of survivors, advocates, community organizations, city council members, and city agencies working together to raise awareness about sexual assault. Denim Day NYC hosts events throughout the year all around NYC to promote awareness about sexual assault and connect New Yorkers to resources. Since 2010, Denim Day NYC has hosted a rally and press conference in April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to unite New Yorkers around the issue of sexual assault and show solidarity with survivors.
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The Origin of Denim Day
Denim Day grew out of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans. The judges reasoned the victim’s tight jeans meant that she had to have helped her assailant remove them, implying consent. People all over the world were outraged, and wearing jeans became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes and myths surrounding sexual assault.Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles, led by Patti Giggans, organized the country’s first Denim Day event in 1999. Under POV’s leadership, Denim Day LA & USA has grown into a national movement. In 2011, more than 2 million Americans participated in Denim Day.
In the spring of 2010, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center's Start Strong Bronx (SSB) program launched Denim Day NYC at the invitation of their Los Angeles grant partner, Peace Over Violence who originated the event. SSB partnered with the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, the Violence Intervention Program, Sanctuary for Families, Bronx Family Justice Center, the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault and the Bronx Borough President, who hosted their press conference and rally on the Bronx Courthouse steps. Concurrently the Crime Victims Treatment Center program from St. Luke’s Roosevelt spearheaded efforts to raise awareness among the Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention (SAVI) programs in other hospitals to commemorated Denim Day by holding tabling events throughout their centers. Following the 2010 rally, SSB, St. Luke’s Roosevelt and the Alliance held the first citywide press conference at City Hall presided over by the Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and City Council Member Julissa Ferreras and supported by all five borough presidents. In four years, our press conference is now attended by over 45 community based organizations and dozens of elected officials.