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IUPUI faculty, staff and students encouraged to wear denim in support of sexual assault victims



INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Chancellor Charles R. Bantz is advocating for faculty, staff and students to wear denim Wednesday, April 29, in a unified stand against sexual assault.

The IUPUI community will join others across the U.S. in support of victims of sexual assault and the need for education about sexual assault.

Denim Day began after the rape of an 18-year-old woman by a 45-year-old driving instructor in Italy. The instructor was convicted of the 1992 rape and sentenced, but the Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1998 because the victim wore tight jeans. It was argued that she must have had to help her attacker remove her jeans, thus making the act consensual. The women of the Italian parliament protested the decision by wearing jeans.

Wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of objection to inaccurate and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.

Denim Day at IUPUI is part of a series of activities to raise awareness about sexual assault, including:

  • Building a Safer Community: Bystander Intervention and Sexual Assault Prevention” program, April 28, 7 p.m., Campus Center theater.
  • Denim Day.
  • Glow the Night Walk and Speak-Out, sponsored by Panhellenic Council, Undergraduate Student Government, and the Office of Health and Wellness Promotion, April 30, 7 p.m. Campus Center.

Previous activities include:

  • Jagnation Ambassador Training, a 90-minute interactive seminar built around bystander intervention and harm reduction. Content includes icebreakers, alcohol and sexual assault prevention, scenario practice, and discussion on social barriers to intervention, April 16.
  • Addressing Victim Blaming, April 8.
  • Clothesline Project, a visual display created by students, survivors and supporters expressing emotion, solidarity and resources for survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence, April 2.
  • It’s on Us IUPUI Celebration, March 31
  • Creation of a video,  in conjunction with “It’s On Us,” a national awareness campaign designed by the White House to address the issue of sexual assault on college campuses.