It’s not even a Friday, so why is everyone at Globe University-Wausau wearing jeans? On April 9, campus staff and faculty were encouraged to wear jeans as part of Denim Day, to show support and take a stance against sexual violence. April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and Globe University-Wausau has joined in the fight to help bring awareness to the cause.
Denim Day is officially celebrated on April 24, but there was a desire to spread the word early on campus. Pairing the donning of jeans with a display of sexual awareness related artwork done by victims and survivors from The Women’s Community seemed the perfect way to shed light on how prominent this problem truly is all over the world, including in our own towns and neighborhoods.
Never heard of Denim Day? This day stems from a decision made by the Italian Supreme Court in the 1990s following a rape case. A young girl was assaulted by her driver’s education instructor, the case was tried, and the man convicted, only to have the case overturned by the Supreme Court citing that that girl had been wearing very tight jeans and her attacker would not have been able to remove them without help, thus making the incident consensual. Following the verdict, the Italian Parliament was outraged and took a stand, wearing jeans to work in protest. This stand and call to action inspired others to do the same and the movement has now reached all over the world—including Central Wisconsin and Globe University.
Sexual Assault Awareness, Denim Day and the fight against domestic violence all hold a special place in the hearts of those at the Women’s Community of Wausau, and it only seemed fitting to take this opportunity to have them speak to students, staff and faculty about such issues. The collection of jeans decorated by survivors will be displayed at local schools and businesses throughout the month of April, and Globe was happy to be a tour stop on their list. On Denim Day, April 24, the display will be at University of Wisconsin-Marathon County.
Globe University-Wausau will also be participating in Denim Day as a fundraiser. Staff and faculty will be able to wear jeans for a $5 fee, with proceeds going to The Women’s Community to aid in the fight against sexual and domestic violence. Although students can wear jeans in most classes anyways, they are also encouraged to participate by making a monetary donation, which will also benefit The Women’s Community. For donating, they will receive a Decide to End Sexual Violence Ribbon to wear to show their support.