UMKC to go denim during Sexual Assault Awareness Month - KCTV5

UMKC to go denim during Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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Wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against destructive attitudes about sexual assault. (KCTV5) Wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against destructive attitudes about sexual assault. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A local university is taking a stand against sexual assault and showing support for those who have been affected by those assaults.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Violence Prevention & Response Program, the UMKC Women's Center, and UMKC Student Affairs and Enrollment Management will recognize Denim Day USA at UMKC as a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Denim Day is a global campaign to raise awareness for sexual assault.

The campaign was originally triggered by an Italian Supreme Court ruling in 2009 to overturn a rape conviction saying that a victim wearing tight jeans must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent.

Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against destructive attitudes about sexual assault.

On Denim Day, community members, elected officials, businesses and students are encouraged to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault and to show support for survivors.

Wearers of denim are encouraged to tell people why they've chosen to wear denim.

Michelle Kroner, the Violence Prevention and Response Program Manager at UMKC, says some of the stereotypes about sexual assault are not true, something Denim Day is trying to change. 

"I think one of the things I find that people sometimes don't think about very often is that most of the individuals that are involved with sexual violence know the individual that's doing this and that there are stranger rapes that happen but that's not the case, that's not the case that we see," Kroner said. "Most of the time the individual knows the person, are acquainted with the person or they've met the person, which makes it all the more difficult for someone to come forward and ask for help." 

On Wednesday, a visual display that bears witness to sexual assault and provides material on the history of Denim Day, as well as campus resources for survivors of sexual assault will be located on the quad at UMKC from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

An information table will also be available for those who want to learn about Denim Day, UMKC resources for those facing sexual assault and decorate a denim item to add to the visual display. The table will be on the UMKC quad from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Advocates fighting to end sexual violence, and a sexual assault survivor will also speak at the UMKC quad at noon.

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