April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Several events throughout the month in downtown Phoenix aimed to raise awareness about sexual violence and how to prevent it.
Those who wish to participate in raising awareness can join others on Denim Day this week.
This year’s Denim Day is on April 26. Denim Day is an international event that began in 1998 after an Italian Supreme Court judge overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans. An event on Taylor Mall in downtown Phoenix will be held from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. to recognize the day.
People are encouraged to “wear denim as a visible sign of protest against the myths that still surround sexual assault,” according to a flyer for the event. Participants can learn how they can play a role in supporting survivors and preventing violence.
The event will be put on in collaboration between the Undergraduate Student Government Downtown and Sun Devil Movement for Violence Prevention.
USGD President Jackson Dangremond said the partnership began when USGD voted to pass an Executive Board rule a few years ago that would require Executive Board members to take the Sun Devil Support Network Training.
“At the time, that laid the groundwork for the involvement within student government to get involved in conversations related to spreading awareness about sexual assault,” Dangremond said.
Dangremond said this year conversations related to Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the new initiative were organized by former USGD President Corina Tapscott. Tapscott reached out to Dangremond and asked if they could discuss Sexual Assault Awareness Month back in March.
Dangremond said the conversations laid the foundation for how USGD could help promote and possibly volunteer at these events to ensure that students knew about the events taking place on campus.
“From there, the conversation actually developed into something much more,” Dangremond said. “It really touched on how we as two organizations at ASU can continue to work together down the line and continue a collaborating partnership to further work to promote awareness of sexual assault.”
Dangremond said Denim Day began back in 1998 as a result of the protests that happened around the world where people of all generations came together wearing jeans.
“It was a sign of protest, a visual protest saying that no, that (victim blaming) is in fact not right and we need to stand together when it comes to eradicating the perpetuation of rape culture,” he said.
The event on Taylor Mall will be free. Those who participate will receive free pizza.
Contact the reporter at Holly.Bernstein@asu.edu.