On April 24, everyone is invited to participate in Denim Day in Hilo by wearing jeans with a purpose.
What is Denim Day?
“Consider wearing tight jeans on this day as a statement that what you wear does not invite sexual assault,” said Julie Tulang, a spokeswoman for the Zonta Club of Hilo, which is sponsoring the local observance with the county Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
“It’s a social statement: An Italian court overturned a rape conviction due to the High Court not believing the victim had not consented to sexual contact since, in their opinion, her jeans were so tight the perpetrator could not have gotten them off without her assistance.
“Sounds outrageous, yet in Italy, and all over the world, women and men who are victims of sexual assault continue to be disbelieved or accused of causing the assault due to their behavior or fashion sense,” Tulang said. “This has to stop.
Join the Zonta Club of Hilo and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Ofﬁce as we stand up for an end to sexual violence by wearing denim to work.” For more info, visit www.zontahilo.org.
Lots of information also is available on the national website, http://denimdayusa.org, which has links to how individuals and groups can get involved in Denim Day.
The national motto is “Peace Over Violence, one on one, one by one.”
“It is a rape prevention education campaign, where we ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion statement, and on this day wear jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault,” said a POV spokeswoman.
The guiding tenet of the Zontians is that “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.”
“The Zonta Club of Hilo envisions our island community as a place where women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential,” according to the Zonta website.
The Hilo Club was formed in 1950 and is part of Area 7 (Hawaii) in District 9 (Hawaii, California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Northern Mexico.
The Zonta Club of Hilo keeps the main mission always in sight: “To advance the status of women and girls worldwide” through service and advocacy.
“We are proud to be part of Zonta International and its efforts to promote the health and welfare of women and girls across the globe,” the group stresses in its mission statement. “Particular focus is to prevent violence against women and end human trafficking.
“Locally, we support programs and services that advance women and children. We do this through direct service and contributions.
“For our members, Zonta Club of Hilo provides opportunities to serve our community, broaden our knowledge base and network among colleagues and friends through program meetings that feature community speakers.”