In 1998, a teenage girl in Italy was raped by her driving instructor. The girl was held down on the ground by the instructor and was threatened with harm to herself and her brothers. He was tried and convicted and sentenced to jail, and his case went to the Supreme Court of Appeals in Rome. The court overturned the original ruling stating that because the victim wore very tight jeans she must have had to help remove them, thereby giving consent to have sex.
The case made international headlines and the young woman's jeans became a symbol of the many misconceptions still surrounding sexual violence, such as there is a "correct" way for someone to respond during an assault and what someone wears can be an excuse for rape.
SafePlace brought the call to action to Austin in 2008 and since then thousands of Austin area employees have joined others across the world in wearing Denim on this day.
Learn more about the case behind the movement. Sex Lies and Honor in Italian Rape Law, a study published in the Suffolk Law Review in 2005. (with cited sources and more information about the case and the judgement beginning on page 20)