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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Denim Day to show support for sexual assault survivors

Students+at+2016s+Denim+Day+displaying+messages+of+solidarity.
Photo by Courtesy

Students at 2016’s Denim Day displaying messages of solidarity.

Anti-Violent Educators (SAVE) will join the international sexual assault awareness event, Denim Day on April 26 to stand up against stand in solidarity with sexual assault victims.
Denim Day began 18 years ago, after the Italian Supreme court overturned a rape conviction based on the argument that the victim in the case was wearing tight jeans, and would have to have helped the perpetrator take them off, signifying consent. In solidarity with the victim, the women of the court came to work in jeans the next day. Denim Day has since been integrated into America as a movement to raise awareness and education of sexual assault.
Jessica Mason, psychology senior and SAVE public relations officer, said she wants to help show support for survivors of sexual assault.
“One thing I like about denim day is it focuses on the survivors,” Mason said. “So it’s showing solidarity with survivors, and it’s like whatever happened with the court case, we’re with you, you have support, you’re not by yourself.”
Makenna Dutter, psychology junior and SAVE secretary, said she would like to take the opportunity to inform people about SARC resources on campus.
“I would like people to be able to talk about it, about when sexual assault happens, how often it does happen on campus and resources to be able to deal with it,” Dutter said.
The SAVE Denim Day booth will help start conversations about sexual assault awareness month according to Kelsey Sullivan, nutritional sciences junior and SAVE president.
“It’s a day that brings awareness, so it doesn’t matter if it’s sexual assault against the LGBT, the black community, Hispanic community, it’s just one encompassing thing,” Sullivan said. “We are focusing on it instead of thinking ‘Oh, it’s such a taboo thing to talk about.’ We’re telling people it’s ok to talk about it, because if you talk about it that’s going to bring awareness, and awareness brings lower rates of sexual assault.”
Terminology can be a barrier in conversations surrounding sexual assault and can negatively affect victims, according to Dutter. The Denim Day table will be an opportunity to discuss this issue with students.
“There’s a lot of issues with language, and it will vary between advocates, versus the legal system, versus police officers, versus everything else, and there’s a lot of connotations of the language that you use,” Dutter said. “The language they use regarding talking to the victims or talking about their experience will greatly affect how they deal with it.”
Buttons will be passed out at the Denim Day table that say “ask me why I’m wearing denim” to raise awareness. Students who receive buttons will learn quick facts about sexual assault and Denim Day.
“We try to give at least a brief overview of what Denim Day is,” Mason said. “So almost everyone we talk to that comes to the booth, we make sure we give them some type of education, so when they do have that button and someone’s like ‘Oh, hey, why are you wearing denim?’ they can at least give something.”
For more information, visit http://studentlife.tamu.edu/clear.denimday.

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