On Emory Denim Day, speak out against sexual violence

By Kimber Williams | Emory Report | April 12, 2016

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On April 20, stop by the #EmoryDenimDay tables at Wonderful Wednesday, Rollins Café, Highland Bakery or other locations to make a sign showing how you support survivors.
To help show support for survivors of sexual assault — and the larger goal of ending sexual violence — the Emory community is invited to participate in Emory Denim Day on Wednesday, April 20.
 
The event is designed to raise both awareness of victim-blaming and funds to support suvivors through Emory’s Respect Program, which serves as a central hub for sexual and relationship violence prevention programs, as well as efforts to create a more survivor-supportive campus community.
 
This year, Emory’s Student Government Association has pledged to donate $1 to the Respect Program for every person who participates in Emory Denim Day. Participants are urged to wear denim on April 20 and send a photo as proof to the Respect Program through:
 
  • Email at respect@emory.edu
  • Twitter: @RespectWell
  • Instagram: Respect_Program
  • Facebook: Emory Denim Day 2016
 
To receive credit, participants sharing photos on social media must tag them “the Respect Program” and use #EmoryDenimDay.
 
Last year, nearly 1,300 people and 48 groups shared #EmoryDenimDay photos, according to Drew Rizzo, Respect Program assistant director.
 
With Emory Healthcare as a new partner this year — and special denim pins available for Emory Healthcare employees who cannot otherwise participate due to hospital uniform requirements — the program is confident those numbers will be surpassed this year in a demonstration of campus-wide compassion for survivors of violence and a condemnation of victim-blaming across the Emory enterprise, Rizzo adds.
 
Emory Denim Day is being held a week early this year to avoid conflicting with final exams. The event is part of a national campaign sponsored by Peace Over Violence in response to a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court that involved a 1992 rape conviction that was overturned six years later when justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove them, implying consent.
 
The following day, women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Denim Day was launched 17 years ago as a symbol of protest and sexual assault prevention education. Though the original conviction was finally reinstated in 2008, the movement continues, as victim-blaming remains a major concern across the globe, says Rizzo.
 
Community members can support Emory Denim Day in several ways:
  • Wear jeans or denim on Wednesday, April 20, and encourage your friends and co-workers to do so, too.
  • Stop by the #EmoryDenimDay tables at Wonderful Wednesday, Rollins Café, Highland Bakery or other locations to make a sign showing how you support survivors. (Check http://respect.emory.edu for an updated schedule of table times and locations)
  • Take photos of yourself, your colleagues and friends wearing denim, tag the Respcect Program, add #EmoryDenimDay, and share them on social media.
  • Donate to support the Respect Program and the Intimate Partner Violence Working Group, which will benefit awareness campaigns and ongoing programming, including Sexual Assault Peer Advocates (SAPA), the Sexual Assault Forum to Educate Greeks (SAFE Greeks), Emory Active Bystander Skills (ABS), and more. Donations may be made here, by designating “other” and typing “Respect Program.”
  • Download posters, fact sheets and photo signs from the Respect Program website, or request buttons and stickers.
  • Emory Healthcare has partnered with the Respect Program to provide spcial Emory Denim Day pins for EHC employees who who may not be allowed to wear jeans or denim in the workplace.
Emory Denim Day is sponsored by the Emory SGA and organized by the Respect Program in partnership with Emory Healthcare, SAPA, the Intimate Partner Violence Working Group, the Faculty Staff Assistance Program, Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention, and Grads Against Violence.
 
For more information, email respect@emory.edu or call 404-727-6842.