Tuesday, April 28, 2015

University of New Orleans Wears Jeans on Wednesday to Honor “Denim Day”

Students, staff, faculty and administrators at the University of New Orleans will wear jeans to campus on Wednesday to honor Denim Day, an international symbol of protest against destructive attitudes about rape and sexual assault.

Protesting Rape

Join more than 5 million people registered online to wear denim on Wednesday as a sign of protest against destructive attitudes about rape and sexual assault.

Learn More about Denim Day

“Denim Day began in 1999 as part of an international protest of an Italian Supreme Court's decision to overturn a rape conviction,” said Patti Gaggins, executive director of Peace over Violence in a statement.

“The sentence was overturned based on the justices’ belief that, because the victim wore tight jeans, they could not be removed easily, and therefore, she must have helped her rapist remove them. This implied consensual sex, not rape. Naturally, the decision outraged lawmakers and organizations throughout Italy, and all over the world. Women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans to work and immediately, the California Senate and Assembly followed suit by wearing jeans on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento.”

Around the nation and the world, men and women will wear denim on Wednesday, April 28 to commemorate Denim Day and the University of New Orleans will participate, said Vice President of Student Affairs Brett Kemker.

The statistics: Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 33 men reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Sexual assault is a significant challenge for colleges and universities nationwide, affecting the health, mental health, and academic success of students, faculty and staff," said Amy King, director of the UNO Office of Student Accountability, Advocacy, and Disability Services. "We must increase awareness. We must educate our UNO community. Please join us in wearing denim this day to increase awareness."

Denim Day in LA and USA is a national movement sponsored by Peace Over Violence that has enlisted the support of celebrities, legislators, activists and citizens in a sexual assault and rape prevention campaign that already has registered more than 5 million participants online.

“There is no excuse and never an invitation to rape,” is the campaign’s signature statement.

Read More

Ruling on Tight Jeans and Rape Sets Off Anger in Italy, The New York Times, Feb. 16, 1999