A California woman who fended off a rape attempt on Wednesday credits the jeans she was wearing in support of survivors of sexual assault.
"Denim Day," held on April 25, was triggered by an Italian Supreme Court ruling in the 1990s that overturned a rape conviction. The justices said that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove them, according to DenimDayinfo.org.
Sarah Shinsky never thought that her activism would come in handy this week.
"I felt very lucky for not wearing a dress that day," she said in an interview with the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Recounting the attack in a Facebook post, Shinsky said she was walking home from work in Santa Cruz while talking on the phone when she felt someone grab her from behind and push her down.
"He ripped the button off of my jeans and tried to pull them down while I was pushing him off of me screaming at the top of my lungs 'help me help me get him off of me!'" she wrote Thursday.
After struggling with him for several minutes, a car would pull up to the side and a woman pulled her away from him, she said. The police were called and suspect Daisuke Muro was arrested.
"I was brave for fighting him off of me for at least two minutes but I saw life and death in front of my eyes and I didn’t want to give up," she wrote. "I was in complete shock that this had happened to me on the normal walk and in such a public place."
She said she has bruises and cuts on her legs, and she hit her head when he pushed her to the ground.
Muro, who is homeless, had been arrested just one day before the attempted sexual assault. He was accused of crawling over a fence behind the police department, according to the Sentinel.
"We had to call mental health," Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills told the newspaper. "They evaluated him and found that he was not capable of being taken to the mental health facility."
Muro was charged with attempted sexual assault and attacking a police officer, according to the Sentinel. Shinsky wrote on Facebook that it feels as if the town "is being taken over by the mentally ill."
"I think people are desensitized to homeless people screaming so they didn’t think twice about me screaming," she wrote.
She told the newspaper that she hopes her story will encourage more women to speak out against sexual assault.
"Fight back," she told the Sentinel. "Fight and keep yelling. Someone will hear you."