I’ve always believed that the conversation about reproductive justice cannot be had without having the conversation around sexual assault and sexual violence. While doing work with Title 9 on campuses, I saw the creativity in the advocacy on April 26th 2017 which was Denim Day around the United States. Denim day marks a chance for us to silently stand with survivors.
In honor of Sexual Violence Awareness month, Peace over violence, has run the denim day campaign that was originally triggered by a ruling from the Italian supreme court when a rape conviction was overturned, because the victims tight jeans may have been considered as consent. The women in the parliament came to work the next day in solidarity with the victim and wore jeans. This has then become a symbol of protest against the various attitudes about sexual assault. This has been an amazing gesture, to bring awareness to the misconceptions about sexual assault and women’s rights. By participating in simply things such as denim day helps to promote prevention through education, it helps to encourage social change but also makes a powerful statement without saying anything!
Over the years many prominent organizations have made a stance for denim day and title 9 on college campuses and on a national scale. The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, has created CARE- Campus Awareness for Relationship Education which is a peer education group that focuses on awareness to prevent sexual assault by hosting presentations to students and community organizations.
The United Nations among other groups are joining the fight against sexual assault. There is country level actions by working with other countries to spark the conversation, some advocacy actions and a knowledge hub.
Something close to the heart that I have worked on in my second term as President of Student Government at Hunter College was the #StudentsStandUp campaign for sexual assault. We as student leaders believed that students played a role in this fight against sexual violence and that we owed it to our peers to help them when we could. This is important when we talk about forced rapes and how this may relate to the conversation about womens choices for their bodies and contraception. With all these things in mind, this is the video we produced: