The Cross Cultural and Gender Center showed its solidarity with sexual assault victims Denim Day on Wednesday as it spread awareness to students passing by in front of the Bucket.
Denim Day is an international sexual violence prevention and education campaign. Its slogan states, “There is no excuse and never an invitation to rape.”
“In Italy over 17 years ago, there was a supreme court case, in which a rape ruling got overturned because the judges decided since the victim was wearing tight jeans. It meant she would have had to help her rapist take her pants off, which they considered to be consent,” said Danika Brumbeloe, a fashion merchandising major at Fresno State. “The following day, all the women in parliament wore jeans to show solidarity, and from there it’s caught on internationally.”
Denim jeans hung in front of the booth blowing in the wind, catching the eyes of people passing by as students checked out pamphlets and put sexual assault pins on their backpacks. Blue jeans were spread out all over the tables where people wrote their own personal messages on them.
“The writing on the jeans is people putting down things in solidarity with the event, writing ‘rape is not a joke’ or writing their name, saying that they pledge to continue to support the victims of sexual assault,” said Jude Jackson, a biology major at Fresno State.
According to the Denim Day website, Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in 1999 as a response to the case and the activism surrounding it.
Many big brands and big names are backing the Denim Day campaign, including Guess Jeans with a promotional video starring Aloe Blacc and Maya Jupiter.
“We want to make sure students know that a way for them to show their support is to wear jeans, to be able to say that they stand with that victim and that they know that it was a case of rape that wasn’t taken seriously enough,” said Joury Robles, a child development major at Fresno State.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 19.3 percent of American women have been raped. The CDC also cites that these numbers are underestimated because many sexual assaults go unreported.
“If someone is sexually assaulted, the first question shouldn’t be ‘What was she wearing.’ It should be, ‘How can I help them,’” said Brumbeloe.
For more information, go to denimdayinfo.org or go to the Cross Cultural and Gender Center on campus.