By Caroline Little

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On April 24th, Marquette University will be observing Denim Day. On a regular basis, denim is just a fabric our jeans are made out of. On April 24th, it will mean so much more.

In 1992, a teenager was raped by her driving instructor. She reported it soon after. The Italian Parliament then overturned the perpetrator’s sentencing. The reasoning for the appeal was because the teen was wearing tight jeans and to get out of those jeans she must have helped him, which implied consent. A day later, the women in the Italian Parliament protested the decision by wearing denim to work.

Now, we wear denim on Denim Day to try to suppress the oppressive stereotypes that help to support rape culture and to educate ourselves on sexual violence. Sexual assault is a topic people often try to push under the rug because it is uncomfortable to talk about. When something is uncomfortable to talk about, sometimes the best thing to do is talk about it. Especially in the case of sexual violence, talking and sharing stories can help to decrease stigma and increase awareness of how often it happens. Sexual violence is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States with only 20% of female students reporting to police. That means 80% of female students do not report and might not get the help they need to recover. Denim Day is designed to be a statement to all of our students that we care and support survivors. We ask all the students to be in solidarity and wear denim to show support.

Getting involved does not just have to mean wearing denim. We have several other things on this month to educate and prepare for Denim Day:

On April 5th, donate denim at the AMU Brew and receive a FREE coffee

Decorate denim for our showcase and eat free pizza

  • Friday, April 5 at MUSG from 4–6 PM
  • Friday, April 12 at CIE from 4–6 PM
  • Wednesday, April 17 from 4–6 PM in the 707 Innovation Hub
  • April 11 at 6:30 at the Weasler

On April 24th at 12:00pm, you can go to the Central Mall to hear stories from survivors, allies, and enjoy free pizza.

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