CSU-Pueblo sponsors Denim Day to educate, raise awareness of sexual assault
PUEBLO – Every two and half minutes someone is sexually assaulted in America. Colorado State University-Pueblo will engage in a prevention education campaign on Wednesday, April 27 as part of a national Denim Day observance. Activities will include the signing of the Sexual Misconduct Proclamation, a two-hour symbolic whistle tribute, safe dating presentation, and a dove release honoring survivors of sexual assault. The campus and community are encouraged to show support by wearing jeans or denim in honor of Denim Day.
Denim Day Organizer and Director of Student Activities Nicky Damania said the day will emphasize the notion that sexual assault survivors deserve support and assistance, not shame and blame. Students will have the opportunity to sign a poster pledging to support survivors of sexual assault, educate their peers, treat others with respect, and to obtain consent in their own sexual relationships.
“We want to build healthy relationships, families, and communities free from sexual, domestic, and interpersonal violence,” he said.
The Office of Student Activities will distribute special Denim Day buttons, Denim Day t-shirts, and Denim Day whistles to promote the cause from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Occhiato University Center Great Hall and outside the newly remodeled Library and Academic Resource Center (LARC).
At 11:55 a.m. in front of the LARC, Interim President Julio Leon will ceremonially sign a new Sexual Misconduct Proclamation as CSU-Pueblo will commit to a zero tolerance policy with regard to sexual misconduct.
An interactive Safe Dating Awareness Program, “The Dater’s Bill of Rights,” will begin at 1 p.m. in the Diversity Resource Center (DRC), OUC 031 co-sponsored by the DRC, and the CSU-Pueblo Counseling and Health Services offices.
A speak-out to allow individuals to listen to and share stories and thoughts will be held from 4:30-5:45 p.m. in the DRC, OUC 031. Support, sharing, resources, and information will be available by representatives from the Pueblo Rape Crisis Center, YWCA, Diversity Resource Center, and the Office of Student Activities.
The Office of Student Activities will help the campus break the silence by distributing whistles. Throughout the day in collaboration with members of the Pueblo Rape Crisis Center, the YWCA and other volunteers will sponsor a Blow Out during which students will be encouraged to blow the whistles every 2.5 minutes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to increase awareness of the tragic statistic that a sexual assault occurs every 2.5 minutes in America. Join them in breaking the silence for unity at 11:50 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 12:50 p.m. by blowing your own whistle.
The day’s events will conclude at 6 p.mat Culebra Residence Hall. Doves will be released to honor the survivors of sexual assault sponsored by Residence Life and Housing, the Diversity Resource Center, and Amnesty International Student Organization and the Office of student Activities.
History of Denim Day
Since 1999, Peace Over Violence has organized Denim Day across the country as a rape prevention education campaign, during which community members, elected officials, businesses, and students are asked to make a social statement with their fashion and on this day by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault
Enraged by an Italian court case (during which a rape verdict was overturned “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex”), the women in the Italian Parliament launched into immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same, which in turn spread to Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, and Denim Day in Los Angeles was born.
Statistics about Sexual Misconduct:
• One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.
• According to the Los Angeles Police Department, there were 1,117 rapes during the year 2003, with only 260 rape suspects arrested.
• 82.8% of rapes committed by an intimate are not reported to the police.
• 35% of college men who voluntarily participated in psychological research conducted at several universities indicated they might commit a rape if they knew they could get away with it.
• Two million children around the world are forced into prostitution every year.
• Law enforcement arrests for internet sex crimes against minors are on the rise.
• 15,000 to 19,000 people with developmental disabilities are raped each year in North America.