Senators wear denim to commemorate Denim Day

Senator Amanda Shelton. (PNC file photo)

On Thursday’s session, the Legislature made an exception to the standing rules on proper session attire to honor “Denim Day.”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and a landmark court decision involving denim jeans led to an annual campaign and a movement in solidarity with survivors.

“Denim Day” is a campaign that began after the ruling of the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the Justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans thereby implying consent.

The following day, the women in the Italian parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. 

During session, Senator Amanda Shelton introduced a motion to suspend the standing rules to allow members to wear denim.

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“Denim Day asks elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest over the misconceptions that surround sexual violence,” Shelton said.

She said sexual violence is a public health issue and it hits very close to home. Shelton cited statistics from the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence. 

“190 cases of sexual assault in 2020. The number of minors who reported sexual assault increased from 68 percent in 2018 to 75 percent in 2020, and 63 percent of sexual assaults were not reported to the police,” she said, adding that these numbers were also exacerbated by the pandemic. 

“I hope my colleagues and our island community can join me and 6 million participants around the world in honor of Denim Day and in support of sexual assault survivors and their families,” Shelton said.

Aside from passing the “Denim Day” motion, senators also moved two measures to the voting file.

Bill 2-36 — introduced by Vice Speaker Tina Muña Barnes — proposes to create a roadmap to develop a transshipment industry in Guam.

The Legislature also moved Resolution 63-36, which was introduced by Speaker Therese Terlaje.

The resolution requests the U.S. Congress to support community project funding for the construction of the expanded Guam Fishermen’s Co-op facility. On Feb 26, 2021, the US House Appropriations Committee announced that it would be accepting requests for community project funding in appropriation bills for FY2022.