"Denim Day" in Boise raises awareness about sexual assault

Posted at 10:06 PM, Apr 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-26 00:06:49-04

People all over the Treasure Valley put on their blue jeans to raise awareness about sexual assault.

"Denim Day" is actually an international event, but people in the Treasure Valley are making it their own.

From Boise State to the National Guard, everywhere you looked on Wednesday, people and animals were wearing denim. The day dates back to 1992 in Italy.

The campaign was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that, because the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.

Then in 1999, the movement made its way across the pond and became a national movement with the last Wednesday in April being recognized as "Denim Day." In 2014, the city of Boise joined the movement with a mayoral proclamation. On Wednesday, Mayor David Bieter issued another formal proclamation recognizing April 25th, 2018 as Denim Day for the City of Boise. 

"We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the response," said Beatrice Black, executive director of the Women's and Children's Alliance. 

She says sexual assault is an issue that plagues Ada County. 

"Last year alone, there were 1,051 calls that dealt with assault or sexual abuse," said Black.

She says most people do not report the abuse because most of the time it happens in their own home. 

"Our clinicians deal every day with adults and children  who have suffered very severe and abusive forms of sexual assault -- everything from infants to elderly individuals," said Black

Black says our community can help break the cycle through education and awareness. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual abuse, you can call the Women's and Children's Alliance Hotline at (208) 343-7025.