Students at Loyola Marymount University held a Denim Day march and rally on Wednesday, April 25, to raise awareness and break down myths surrounding sexual assault and gender inequality.
The event also raised money for the Rape Treatment Center at the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center. LMU honored Gail Abarbanel, founder of the center, with an honorary degree earlier that day.
“As students who are called to engage in the relentless pursuit for justice, we have the responsibility to stand for change in our communities,” said ASLMU President Hayden Tanabe. “Denim Day will provide the perfect platform for students to speak up and help break down the myths surrounding rape culture. Moreover, this march will demonstrate that it is not just a women’s issue, but rather a human issue.”
Denim Day is an annual day of activism that began in 1999, in protest of an Italian Supreme Court ruling which overturned a rape conviction. The court held that the victim in that case must have actually consented, because she was wearing tight jeans that could not have been removed if she was resisting.
The ruling gained international notoriety but was not overturned until 2008. Participants in Denim Day wear jeans or other denim clothing as a sign of protest against destructive attitudes toward sexual assault.