A woman gets raped in a game in Europe.
Brides get kidnapped regularly as a tradition in Kyrgyzstan.
Women from Sara tribe in Africa are made to wear wooden discs around their mouth to make them look unattractive to raiders.
These are not one-off incidents, but these are traditions and a part of the culture where they exist. You might think life is not so brutal in other parts of the world but the more you read the more you realise women have been assaulted in some way or the other.
I was once in a conversation with my friends and amongst other topics, the sensitive topic of sexual assault came up. There were ten of us and slowly each one of us opened about how they had experienced indecent touch, advances or an assault from a stranger or even a known friend or relative. It was shocking and some of us had never spoken about it to anyone earlier and we were a bunch of moms. Not even one woman!! Some had experienced it as a kid and had held the touch of it till then in our memories. In a strange way, it was comforting to know that I was not the only one. Just talking about it was therapy in itself.
If you have been following me on Instagram last few days you would know that I have been talking only about #DenimDay and supporting the movement along with @PeaceOverViolence. Starting a conversation matters, awareness matters. Do it for yourself, do it for others around you. Why only women, men should talk about it to their sisters, friends, wives, mothers too and visa versa! The more we talk the more we remove it from the world.
Before I delve any further, let’s first understand what is Denim day and why is it so important to me and to all the women in the world?
The story dates back all the way to 1992, Rome, Italy – An 18-year-old girl was raped by the 45-year year old driving instructor who was taking her to her very first driving lesson. He took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, removed her jeans and forcefully raped her. She reported the rape and the perpetrator was arrested and prosecuted.1999, Rome, Italy – The driving instructor appealed the sentence, claiming that they had consensual sex. The case made it all the way to the Italian High Court where the conviction is overturned and he is released. Yes, it is as ridiculous as that!A statement from the Court argued that because the victim wore very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.This became known throughout Italy as the “jeans alibi.” Enraged by the verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans on the steps of the Supreme Court.This protest was picked up by international media and eventually spread to LA. Inspired, Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, thought everyone should be wearing jeans to protest all of the myths about why women are raped.
Women over the world have joined this movement as it really is not limited to one nation or one country. It is the problem of every urban and rural woman in the world!!!!
We might think we have evolved, we talk about a liberated world but when I read about ridiculous practices like wife kidnapping, rape game and tying plates around women’s mouth to avoid her from being exploted, I am appalled how these came into being and how they still exist. Yes, they still exist!! Let’s just stop these atrocities!!
From the blog we sent out messages and feelers to women around and met some wonderful ladies, some for the very first time who not only posed for us but shared such strong messages with us that we had just share them with you.
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I am Kanchan Bhamani a chef ,an Aromatherapist and seminar leader for Landmark world wide. I am joining @Peaceoverviolence and @maaofallblogs in the #DenimDay movement. Having travelled many places ,I have seen that in some cultures selling their bodies for pleasure is a profession and the family is aware of the lady doing it . The husband comes to pick up the wife . It's ok for them to do this . In our country we have made this is cultural norm that our bodies get impure when touched or raped by men . So the intention to support is to take away the significance about rape . Even if someone is a victim to this ,support them to bounce back faster Who they are a beautiful soul and nothing can make that impure till you do it yourself. #denimday #peaceoverviolence #strongwomen #strongwoman #SayNoToSexualAssault #NOEXCUSES
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Hi….This is Bharati Teje and I live in Plano TX in US….I am joining @maaofallblogs and @peaceovrviolnce in the #denimday movement. My daughter lives in India and I wish her freedom in the way she lives like the way I am experiencing it here…She can wear anything she wants….Can move freely at any time of day or night ..and she should be seen as a person and not as a woman…I guess that's every girl's birthright !! #denimday #peaceoverviolence #strongwomen #strongwoman #SayNoToSexualAssault #NOEXCUSES
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I am Sonal and I am joining @maaofallblogs and @peaceovrviolnce in the #denimday movement. Every woman/girl faces sexual assaults from their childhood . And sometimes it's their own relatives who does this shameless act. Disabled children and women get assaulted most of the time. I strongly protest this and stand up for this Nobel cause . Have seen the mentally retarded girls gets assaulted. We are strong girls we can protest but what about these poor girls who dont know what is sex let alone sexual assault. #denimday denimday #strongwomen #strongwoman #SayNoToSexualAssault #BloggersAgainstViolence #NOEXCUSES
For more information and how to get involved visit denimdayinfo.org
#DenimDay is not about a day, or a month or a particular year. It is the stark reality that we sometimes ignore when it doesn’t happen to us or to people we care about. This is the reality that women are suffering from even as I pen this and you read. Let’s stop being silent observers, let’s take a stand.
We invite views/comments/stories from each one of you. Use this platform to speak up.
Jyotirmoy Sarkar says
A very strong post and shocking(At least for me ) also. the first three traditions are unbelievable. good to know about the movement.
Prerna Sinha says
It really is shocking but true.