April is sexual assault awareness month and a landmark court decision involving denim jeans led to an annual campaign and a movement in solidarity with survivors.
The UOG Social Work Alliance, alongside the non-profit organization Erica’s House, will be hosting the annual Denim Day Wave.
Denim Day grew out of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans.
Since then, it had grown to a national campaign wherein individuals can make a social statement by wearing denim jeans to protest against the misconceptions surrounding sexual violence and victim-blaming.
Nina Baluran, one of the members of the UOG SWA, says that this day very relevant to Guam because in 2017, the island had the 2nd highest number of assaults per capita.
“As of 2020, there had been 190 cases of sexual assault that has been reported. So the sexual assault rates are very high on Guam. We also want to bring social awareness of sexual assault on the local level as well,” Baluran said.
She added: “We want them to be aware that there’s no invitation or excuse for anyone to sexually assault anyone. What you wear should not determine someone to be able to sexually assault you. You should be able to feel comfortable in what you wear and that shouldn’t be an invitation at all.”
The Denim Day Wave will take place on Wednesday, April 28, from 5 to 6 pm at the Chief Quipuha Statue in Hagatna and the ITC Intersection in Tamuning.
Showtime will be at 4:30 pm and interested participants are encouraged to wear denim and teal in support of sexual assault awareness month.