Today is Denim Day, part of the ongoing Sexual Assault awareness month. Denim Day started in LA in April of 1999, is meant to highlight and protest against the various myths surrounding why rape occurs. While the simple act of “wearing jeans” might seem like an odd choice at first, there is a background to it.
The “Denim” in “Denim Day” owes its origins to an extremely high-profile sexual assault case in Italy in the 1990s, in which the victim’s “tight jeans” were used as evidence that sexual assault hadn’t occurred. Enraged, protests in Italy used slogans such as “Jeans: An Alibi for Rape” according to New York Times coverage of the public outcry at the time. In 1999, the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, now Peace Over Violence, established the first Denim Day, which is now recognized in over 20 states.
Denim Day on the Benedictine campus is sponsored by the Benedictine PEACE team, which has run a number of events in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Advocacy Day was observed on April 21. Take back the Night, an entire evening of collaboration of local organizations to raise awareness of gender-based violence was held earlier this month on the Lisle campus Quad.
Even as the month closes out, the PEACE team will be hosting “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes,” in which male members of the Benedictine Community will be asked to walk while wearing women’s high heel shoes as an act of solidarity against violence towards women. The walk will be held on the quad of the Lisle campus from 12:00-1:30 PM on April 28. This event is being held in collaboration with the Ondrak Residence Assistants.