BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR)– Virginia Tech held its annual ‘Denim Day’ event. Organizers said the goal of the event is to debunk and share misconceptions about sexual violence.
The history dates back to the 1990s with a court case in Italy, where a judge overruled a sexual assault case based on the fact that the victim was wearing tight jeans.
The next day, people wore denim in protest of the ruling.
Since then, this quickly became an international campaign to debunk myths of sexual violence, while supporting survivors at the same time.
Organizers of the event on campus said some of the biggest misconceptions surround some people believing victims incite their own sexual assault, or that sexual assaults only happen in isolated areas.
Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist with Hokie Wellness, Chelsea Cleary, said that today is about education.
“It helps to continue to have these really hard conservations about these misconceptions around sexual violence. Elevating what is consent, and what is not consent, and being able to bring the community in on the conversation. So that way we can continue to build a community around consent,” said Cleary.
During the tabling event, people were able to talk about supporting survivors, while partaking in activities that spread the message of ‘Denim Day.’
“I think it normalizes to that we can have these conversations about sexual violence and we can do it in a way that may not always be accepted, but having things like tabling events to casually walk by and learn about resources that maybe they wouldn’t feel comfortable doing. So I think denim day helps that,” Paige Bik, Associate Director of Prevention at the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech.
Gender-Based Violence Prevention Intern and student, Gina Beller said events like this are important for students because it spreads the message forward. If a student can talk to another student about how they can play a part in sexual violence prevention, then the cycle continues.
They can create a safer community for all Hokies, and all people in the New River Valley.
Organizers also shared various resources for prevention, education, and if you are a victim of a sexual assault– that are offered both on and off campus. You can find those resources below:
- SAFE at VT
- Cook Counseling Center
- VT Women’s Center
- Virginia Tech Police
- Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley
- TimelyCare Virtual Mental Health Counseling
- Hokie Wellness
Below are some organizations that took part in ‘Denim Day:’