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Hampton University Unites to Fight Against Sexual Assault in Annual Denim Day

April 24, 2019

For the 7th year in a row, Hampton University faculty, staff and students participated in the national observance of Denim Day on Wednesday, April 24, calling attention to Sexual Assault Awareness. Sponsored by Attorney Kelly Harvey-Viney and the HU Title IX Office, the HU Student Health Center, the HU Police Department, the HU Student Counseling Center, the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute and the City of Hampton Victim Services Unit, the HU community wore jeans in support of sexual assault survivors everywhere.

“Hampton University is proud to be part of Denim Day. Every year we show our support for sexual awareness by forming the ribbon, which is a visible sign of protest against the destructive attitudes towards sexual assault,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.

For 20 years, the California organization, Peace Over Violence (POV), has held its Denim Day campaign on a Wednesday in April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month), to raise awareness about sexual assault. The campaign was originally triggered by a 1998 ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, therefore implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. POV developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism it generated. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of remonstration against erroneous attitudes and misconceptions about sexual assault.

Students from Young Adults Advocating Change, a volunteer student organization on campus that deals with social injustices, were in the Student Center handing out ribbons and bracelets for Denim Day. “We wear denim to represent sexual assault awareness. We are handing out ribbons, bracelets, candy, pamphlets and offering support to sexual assault survivors,” said Isaiah Barlow, junior, marketing major.

At Hampton University, this ongoing education, awareness and prevention campaign is sponsored in the spring by the Title IX Office. It is an event that brings everyone together to form the annual human awareness ribbon. This year, supporters assembled in the Student Center making their presence known by wearing jeans, teal awareness ribbons and bracelets for a show of unity and a steadfast commitment against sexual assault and abuse on campus.

"I am so proud of the engaged and committed faculty and staff members who show up every year to support the ongoing education efforts of the Title IX Office. They are our foot soldiers who help raise awareness about sexual assault and its prevention all over campus,” said Kelly Harvey-Viney, Director of the Hampton University Center for Public Policy and Title IX Coordinator.


Hampton University honors survivors during Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April 25, 2018

On April 25th the faculty, staff and students of Hampton University united for one common cause… the prevention of sexual assault! This year was the 6th annual Denim Day campaign and it allowed everyone to wear jeans for a day to raise awareness about the problem of sexual assault on campus. In addition to supporters posing for the human awareness ribbon picture, a balloon release at the Armstrong Football stadium honored the victims and survivors of sexual assault.

The Denim Day campaign was created in response to a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court 17 years ago. In this decision, a rape conviction was overturned because the justices decided that the victim gave consent because her jeans were so tight, she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans. The next day, the women in the Italian Parliament protested the decision and wore jeans to work to show solidarity with the victim.

Peace Over Violence developed the campaign as a symbol of protest against victim-blaming and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. (Denimdayinfo.org)

More than 400 Hampton University faculty, staff and students wore jeans and teal awareness ribbons or bracelets in support of Denim Day which serves to educate primarily Faculty and staff on sexual assault awareness but also includes education for students.


Hampton University Unites in Fight Against Sexual Assault

April 20, 2017

Hampton, VA – On April 20th, Hampton University will make more than a fashion statement when faculty, students and staff rock their blue jeans. The university is uniting for men, women, boys and girls across the country to send a clear message, sexual assault will not be tolerated!

Sponsored by the HU Office of Title IX and the Student Health Center, Denim Day will kick off at noon at Armstrong Stadium. Participants are encouraged to grab a teal awareness pin and ribbon and sign a pledge to take a stand against sexual assault. Hampton University will read the pledge as a group prior to taking a group photo at 12:30p.m.

Denim Day spawned from a 1998 Supreme Court ruling in Italy, where the high court made the decision to overturn a rape case conviction in which it was stated the victim was wearing very tight jeans and must have helped the assailant remove them. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case, according to the Denim Day website. The movement is an internationally recognized campaign. For more information go to denimday.org.


HU partners with Hampton VA Medical Center to spread awareness about sexual assault

April 15, 2016

Hampton, Va. - In honor of " Sexual Assault Awareness Month" Hampton University will host a Denim Day event on April 15 at 12:30 p.m. HU's Denim Day will bring awareness to sexual assault against women, men, boys and girls.

In conjunction with the Hampton VA Medical Center and the Center for Sexual Assault Survivors, HU faculty, staff and students will wear jeans as a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. Outside the Hampton University Convocation Center, there will be a short ceremony and members of the Hampton VA Medical Center and the HU communities will say a pledge and then stand in the shape of an awareness ribbon.

"We are excited about partnering with the Hampton VA Medical Center to participate in Denim Day to spread awareness about sexual assault prevention and education and support victims," said Kelly Harvey, the University Title IX coordinator.

Denim Day spawned from a 1998 Supreme Court ruling in Italy, where the high court made the decision to overturn a rape case conviction in which it was stated the victim was wearing very tight jeans and must have helped the assailant remove them. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case, according to the Denim Day website. The movement is an internationally recognized campaign. For more information visit http://denimdayusa.org/about/.