In recognition of national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), Student Health and Counseling is hosting a week-long campaign from April 19-23 to draw attention to this important topic.
All students, faculty, and staff are actively encouraged to participate in order to create a conversation across the campus community in thinking about how we respect and communicate with each other, and to create a community that does not allow violence to occur.
On April 21, don your jeans for Denim Day. Wearing jeans during SAAM became an international symbol of protest in 1999, when an Italian High Court decision overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans. The Court dismissed charges against a rape suspect after reasoning that because his victim wore very tight jeans, the suspect could not have removed her jeans by himself, and thus, the victim must have willingly participated. The judgment sparked a worldwide outcry from those who understand coercion, threats, and violence go along with the act of rape.
The day closes out with a film screening of Sin by Silence
, a documentary that tells the story of women incarcerated for killing their abusive partners, and the work they have done from jail in creating support groups and impacting sentencing guidelines for battered women. A panel discussion led by community topic experts, including Associate Professor of Health Policy Dr. Stephen Metraux, the director of Lutheran Settlement House, the director of Women In Transition, and a representative from the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, will follow the screening.
The week’s activities will also include a display of the Clothesline Project in the lobby of the Athletic/Recreation Center (ARC), cell phone donation boxes in the ARC and Student Health and Counseling Center for Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine, coffee cups with printed anti-violence messages, an interactive CD about sexual and dating violence available for student use in the computer lounges of residence halls, and educational brochures, handouts and posters across campus.
Wednesday, April 21
All day long, wear your jeans and take a stand against rape. Make a social statement with your fashion statement!
Screening of Sin by Silence – 4–6 p.m., ARC Arena
From behind prison walls, this emotional documentary reveals the lives of extraordinary women who advocate for a future free from domestic violence. An expert panel discussion and reception will follow the screening.
Monday – Friday, April 19–23 (preview April 12–18)
The Clothesline Project
Stop by the ARC lobby and you’ll see the human face of violence against women by viewing t-shirts created by survivors of violence, and their family and friends.