Maryville College helps raise assault awareness with Denim Day events

While this article is not graphic or detailed, it does discuss sexual assault in general and the specific assault of a teenager. 

Denim Day is an international rape-prevention education campaign that has been celebrated annually on the last Wednesday of April since 1999. On Denim Day, people are encouraged to wear denim to show support for sexual assault survivors.

In 1992, an 18-year-old was sexually assaulted by her driving instructor in Rome, Italy. The assailant appealed the sentence in 1999 claiming that the relations were consensual, and the court agreed since the victim was wearing tight jeans. The conviction was overturned, and women in Italy’s parliament wore jeans to work to protest this decision.

This protest spread to the United States when Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, the Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, heard about the case and the denim defense and encouraged everyone to wear denim in support of sexual assault survivors and to stand up to the claim that one’s clothes can justify assault.

This year, Denim Day will be observed on Wednesday, April 28, and Maryville College encourages all students, faculty, and staff to wear denim to raise awareness for sexual assault. Student Affairs has prepared several sessions throughout the month of April to help promote support for survivors of sexual assault and oppose sexual violence.

Graphic Courtesy of Jessica Boor White.

April 7, 12:30-1:00 p.m. – What is sexual violence?

April 8, 12:30-1:00 p.m. – Resources and Support @MC

April 14, 12:00-12:30 p.m – How can I support a survivor?

April 15, 12:00-12:30 p.m. – Hurdles to Reporting Sexual Violence

April 16, 12:30-1:00 p.m. – Me(n) Too: Sexual Violence Against Men

April 19, 12:00-12:30 p.m. – Sexual Violence in the BIPOC Community

April 21, 12:00 p.m. – Beyond Tea and Consent

April 22, 12:30-1:00 p.m. – Sexual Violence in the LGBTQ community

April 23, 12:00 p.m. – Bystander Intervention

April 26, 12:00-12:30 p.m. – Healing Together: Community Response

The link to join these events can be found in [email protected], as well as a link to register to attend. Those who attend an event and make a pledge to take action against sexual violence will receive a survivor support pin and a social media kit.

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