On Wednesday, April 27, The Women’s Union hosted Denim Day in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Denim Day has taken place for the past seventeen years. This movement came about from an Italian Supreme Court ruling where a rape conviction was overturned due to the conclusion that the victim’s jeans were too tight for the rapist to remove them himself.
It was decided that the victim must have helped her rapist remove the jeans, implying consensual sex. In response to this ruling, the Peace Over Violence organization has founded the Denim Day campaign and promoted the activism behind it.
Ever since the campaign was developed, wearing jeans/denim on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against false, offensive and destructive ideas and attitudes about sexual assault.
This rape prevention campaign is about community members making a visible protest against the misconceptions that are associated with sexual assault. This year there were 5,302,313 registered participants, with the additional innumerable unregistered participants. “It was so nice to see fellow students and faculty members supporting anti-violence movements and banish misconception about sexual assault,” says participating student Rebecca Taslitz ’19.
On April 27, the College participated and recognized Denim Day along with millions across the United States and Latin America. The rally and walk was held during common lunch.
The walk and rally were ran and held by Women’s Union new e-board: Angelica DeDona ‘19, Gillian Singer ‘19, Christie Dionosis ‘19, and Dalila Haden ‘19. The event included a walk of protest against sexual assault on and off campus. The passionate crowd was high energy with chants like: “Hey ho! Hey ho! Campus rape has got to go!” and “2-4-6-8 stop the violence and the rape!”
Following the walk, Associate Professor/Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program Professor Andrea Foroughi gave background information on Denim Day and the misconceptions of sexual assault.
This speech was followed by Union’s newly appointed Title IX coordinator Melissa Kelly, who gave an anecdotal story about how each member of her family was proud to participate in Denim Day.
The event was closed by two small speeches from the co-presidents of Women’s Union, Angelica DeDona and Gillian Singer.
“We’re so thrilled that so many people came out to support Denim Day. Knowing that people on campus really care about the epidemic of sexual assault gives me hope that secual violence on and off campus can and will be eradicated,” says Women’s Union co-president Gillian Singer.