'Denim Day': Santa Clara County supervisor pushes for faster rape kit analysis

Leaders in the South Bay will observe something called "Denim Day," to show solidarity with victims of sexual assault.

Santa Clara County workers are asking the public to take part in the movement by wearing denim pants, jackets or skirts. Denim Day started in Italy 19 years ago and was triggered by a ruling by 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 her rapist 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. 

The idea has spread worldwide as a show of solidarity for women and men who are survivors of sexual violence.

On Wednesday, Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez will continue her push to get the county to speed up the process for analyzing rape kits. Anytime someone reports they're a victim of rape or sexual assault, they have to go through a physical exam at a medical facility with a sexual assault nurse. The evidence gathered in that exam - including DNA evidence - is packaged together as part of a sexual assault kit - and then turned over to investigators.

Chavez introduced a measure earlier this year to require the DA’s office to process those kits in 30 days instead of the average 94 days.

The board of supervisors is supposed to consider the issue again on May 8.