To kick off Sexual Assault Awareness Week at University of the Sciences all students, staff, and faculty are asked to don their jeans for Denim Day on April 22. In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the University is sponsoring a week-long awareness campaign that will run Wednesday, April 22 through Wednesday, April 29.
In addition to Denim Day, the week’s activities will include a display of the Clothesline Project in the lobby of the Athletic/Recreation Center (ARC), coffee cups and cafeteria napkins with printed anti-violence messages, as well as displays at the bookstore and library, posters, brochures, and flyers throughout campus.
The goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Week is to create a conversation on campus that includes the entire University community in thinking about how we respect and communicate with each other, and to create a community that does not allow violence to occur.
“Denim Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness and prevent sexual assault against women,” said Dr. Karen Levinson
, a psychologist at the Student Health and Counseling Center. “We urge everyone in the University community to join us in wearing jeans on Denim Day.”
Wearing jeans during Sexual Assault Awareness Month became an international symbol of protest against common attitudes about rape in 1999, when an Italian High Court decision overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans. The Italian Supreme Court dismissed charges against a 45-year-old rape suspect after reasoning that because his 18-year old 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 Clothesline Project (CLP) is a collection of t-shirts created by survivors of violence, and their family and friends. The CLP began in 1990 and aims to educate the public about the extent, prevalence, and impact of violence against women. The CLP puts a human face on the statistics of violence against women and has become a distinctive resource for healing from violence and creating social change. The CLP display will be provided by Women in Transition, an agency in Philadelphia that provides services to empower women to build lives for themselves and their children that are free from interpersonal violence, substance abuse and poverty, and empowers the community to undertake initiatives to end substance abuse and violence against women and children.
The entire University community is urged to step forward and take a stand against rape by participating in the special events of Sexual Assault Awareness Week. Please join-in by wearing your jeans, visiting the Clothesline display, and coming out to learn more about preventing sexual violence!
For more information on how you can get involved and take a stand against sexual violence, please contact Karen Levinson in the Student and Health Counseling Department 215-596-8709 or firstname.lastname@example.org