NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Wearing a denim shirt, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton joined several elected officials on Wednesday to rally against sexual violence.

The gathering at City Hall was to mark Denim Day, an annual event in which people are encouraged to wear jeans to raise awareness of rape and sexual assault.

The event takes its name from a 1998 ruling by an Italian court.

“The Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction and the reason it’s Denim Day is because the victim in that case wore tight jeans,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer explained to 1010 WINS.

The court’s decision was based on the reasoning that the victim’s jeans were so tight she must have helped to remove them. Supposedly that meant the sex was consensual.

Nearly all of the more than 100 attendees wore denim to the rally on Wednesday. Many chanted that tight clothes are not an invitation for assault.

According to nypdnews.com, one in five women in the United States at some time in their lives has been raped. One and 71 men in the U.S. have also been raped, the website said.

And nearly half of all women in the country have experienced sexual violence other than rape, nypdnews.com said.

Commissioner Bratton said rape is too often not reported and urged victims to come forward.

April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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