Some of the following images contain explicit content.
Safer is celebrating Denim Day in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) with denim painting and an art display in the University Union (UU) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday.
In preparation for the day, Cal Poly’s Safer team held a craft circle event where students could paint denim that would be put on display on Denim Day. The team provided thrifted denim for students to decorate, and students could bring their own denim to paint and wear on the day itself.
Along with the denim decorating, the event also consisted of button making, where students could color a Denim Day picture and then assemble a button to wear to accompany their jeans.
Denim Day was established in 1999 by Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, the Executive Director of Peace Over Violence. It is a day created to stand in support of sexual assault survivors and bring awareness to victim blaming.
The idea for this notable day dates back to 1992 when the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the survivor was wearing tight jeans. According to the Denim Day website, the Supreme Court deduced that the survivor must have helped remove her jeans, thus implying consent.
The day following the decision, women of the Italian Parliament wore jeans on the steps of the Italian Supreme Court in solidarity with the survivor. The California Senate and Assembly caught wind of this protest and took action by wearing denim on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento.
Gaining traction, Giggans saw the protests in the media and saw a need to debunk the myths of why people are raped. She proceeded to create the Denim Day campaign and later hosted the first Denim Day in Los Angeles in April of 1999. This stand-against-victim-blaming has continued annually ever since.
Safer has hosted a variety of events throughout the month of April to raise awareness of sexual assault, including arts and crafts circles and discussions. Their annual Take Back the Night event on Thursday will feature local restaurants, community speakers, tote bag decorating and performances from local bands Próxima Parada and Kiwi Kannibal.
More information about the events can be found on Safer’s Instagram.