Denim Day - Speak Out against Sexual Assault - Trigger Warning - Frank Discussion on Rape

I learned about this from a friend Magaly who shared "Secrets of a Sweet Southern Girl's" blog post on it.
Denim Day, which I had never heard of until last week, is related to a story from Italy in the 1990’s.  An 18 year old girl was raped by her driving instructor, she presses charges and he is arrested and prosecuted.  He appealed the sentence and the judge decided that because she was wearing jeans, he could not have gotten her pants off alone; therefore she must have consented and overturned his conviction.  In outrage women in the Italian Parliament began a protest immediately by wearing jeans to work.  The first Denim Day in LA was in April 1999 and continues today.

When I first heard about this I have to say I was a bit disappointed with myself that I’d never heard of it.  Being a very open minded and female positive person, I would think that I wouldn't have missed this. 

As my first entry for Denim Day, I’m going to write about a personal experience of mine.  I’m going to go ahead now and post the trigger warning.  

Below are descriptions of the rape of a 15 year old girl.  
The experiences are real, and they are mine.  

Please take care if you decide to continue.


It’s dark outside.  I've been at my new house for about a week now.  I ran away from home because my mom and aunt took me to the police station to have me arrested.  My aunt slammed my face in the back door of the car before she tossed me in the back seat.  She turned on the car interior light to make sure I wasn't bleeding before escorting me into the station.  At the station they told me that they couldn't make me stay.  They took me home.  I laid in my twin bed listening to them both talk with my step father, the one who had been molesting me from age five, about calling the ‘reform school’ and having me locked up the next day.  Needless to say I ran like a bat out of hell.   What’s that old saying?  Out of the frying pan into the fryer.

I ended up calling everyone in the phone book with my last name.  It’s a small town so it was a short list.  I asked for my bio dads name at each number.  Finally a woman on the phone said, one moment.  I was paralyzed with fear.  Would he let me come there?  I’d been on the streets for a week or so.  I needed a place to go.  He answered and told me he’d meet me by the fairgrounds.
The first week was normal, yet odd.  I went from being the oldest of three girls to being the middle child.  One older brother and sister and a younger sister.  I was allowed to do whatever I wanted.  I didn't go to school.  Instead I stayed at the house and smoked pot and sometimes did other drugs.  I drank too.

My father decided to have a party to celebrate the return of his “daughter”.  Lots of people were there and we drank late into the night.  I was offered a cocktail of drugs from prescription to acid.  As I staggered out of the trailer and back to the lounge chairs that sat under a huge tree, I fell down on one and looked up at the stars.  My “Father” pulled himself on top of me and started pawing at my body in a very non-fatherly way.

I jumped up and staggered a bit and ran for the road.  I ran down the road, I was in shorts, and bare feet.  The rocks cut into my heels.  There were no cars on the road.  We were in a very remote isolated area.  He pulled up beside me in the car and said get in, it’s fine.  Don’t worry.  I got in the car and he drove down the road and pulled into what looked like an old fishing trail.  He looked at me and said, how can you give that to him and not me?  Confused I looked at him and said what?  You do that with him and not me.  I finally got it.  He was referring to the years of abuse by my stepfather.  I jumped out of the car again and he came around the side and tossed me on the hood of the car.

My arms fell limp has he took off my shorts.  My body gave up.  My mind looked to the sky and cried inside.  Is this why I’m here?  Is my only purpose in life to be hurt and taken advantage of?  If there is a God I thought, “Please Let Me DIE”.
My mind and my eyes glazed over.  I felt the stars come down from the sky can wrap themselves around me.  They pulled me up and away from this place.  I looked back to see what he was doing to my body and was comforted in knowing that I was not really there.  He may have taken my body, but he didn't take me.

I blacked out after that and woke the next morning back at his house.  I went from being abused by my stepfather to spending the next year and a half being abused by my father.  I only was able to escape after he was arrested.  I spent the next 10 years hiding from him.
Today, both my attackers are dead.  I don’t have any love for either of them.  I am glad they are gone.  For many years I blamed myself for both attacks.  But today I know that I was not responsible for it.  I was a victim.  Today I am a survivor.

Talk to your sons, teach them not to rape.  Talk to your daughters; arm them with the knowledge that they are not to blame.

No one asks to be raped.  Not in the way the dress or the way they act.  No one gives consent to be rapped by the clothes they wear, they way the dance or by passing out at a party.  Sexual assault and abuse is wrong.  If someone cannot say yes, then the answer is no.  If someone did not say yes, then the answer is no.  If someone says NO then the answer is no.

Show your support for Denim Day and wear Jeans today!

Namaste & Blessed Be
Photo Credit - Renee Olson
Denim Day Contribution

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