April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and April 24 is one of the days dedicated to bringing light to the issue.

Denim Day happens every year on April 24 reminding the world that assault never has an excuse and clothing is never a reason. Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit that helps people deal with domestic and interpersonal violence began the Denim Day Campaign. For 25 years, Peace Over Violence has held its Denim Day Campaign.

Utah had a higher sexual assault average than even the national average in 2022. Every 55.5 per 100,000 people experience sexual assault in the state, a Utah State University study said. The national average is 42.6 per 100,000 people in the U.S. experience sexual assault.

Only a 11.8 percent reported to law enforcement in Utah.

The history of Denim Day actually begin in 1992 in Italy during what should have been an innocent driving lesson, denimday.org said. An 18-year-old girl was raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor. He pulled off onto a road that would be isolated and took off her jeans to assault her.

After reporting the rape, the driving instructor was prosecuted and sent to jail. That should have been the end but it wasn't. The man appealed the conviction years later with "consensual sex" as the reason. The perpetrator was released and the conviction overturned before the Italian Supreme Court.

The court released a statement saying that the girl's jeans were so tight she must have helped to get them off during the incident making it consensual. This is known as the "jeans alibi".

Women in the Italian Parliament were outraged and started a protest, wearing jeans on the steps of The Supreme Court. The protest was picked up by international media outlets leading to the California Senate and others replicating it. The first Denim Day was in 1999.

This year, Park City officials encouraged people to participate and join them in recognizing the day.

In Southern Utah, the local nonprofit Dove Center that helps with domestic violence and abuse survivors is encouraging the community to participate in this event. So, wear jeans on Wednesday!

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