Denim Day Promotes Rape Awareness

El Vaquero Editor in Chief

A flood of denim jeans and shirts invaded campus Wednesday, as the United Womyn’s Council announced this year’s third annual Denim Day campaign to promote rape awareness.

Even Dr. Peggy Renner, professor of history, showed her support in a full denim dress.

A display table was set up in Plaza Vaquero with information on the campaign. The table seemed to guage more interest this year, especially among men.

“[It] was well recieved by men on campus this year,” said Niki Davis of the United Womyn’s Council. “I got more requests for the buttons that read, ~There is no excuse and never an invitation to rape, and the fellas were wearing them along with the women.”

Denim Day is actually a fairly new campaign, which was started in 1999 after an international protest that followed an Italian supreme court decision, which overturned a rape conviction because the victim had worn jeans.

The judges believed that since jeans are not easily removable and difficult to take off if someone is resisting an attacker, the victim must not have been assaulted against her will.

In 2001, community organizations like the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women and other businesses in L.A. participated and recognized the campaign by wearing jeans and discussing the issue of sexual violence. The “Day of Dialogue” rippled not only in the businesses, but also throughout several cities, colleges and universities in L.A.

According to Davis, the United Womyn’s Council has “made a commitment to end rape on this campus.”

Rape crimes have risen on GCC’s campus since 1999, according to GCC police, with zero reports in 1999, one report in 2001 and two reports in 2002.

Davis especially felt the need to participate in the Denim Day campaign after a 2001 Women’s History Month event, which found many of the students sharing personal stories about sexual violence in their lives.
According to Davis, new research has shown that 35 out of 10,000 college women are raped with women under 25 being the most targeted.

“Students have suggested that areas on campus where there have been sexual assaults be made public knowledge so women can be more careful in those areas,” said Davis.