Students, OSAPR Host Annual Denim Day in Solidarity With People Who Have Experienced Sexual Assault

April 24, 2019

By Michelle G. Kurilla

Harvard students clad in denim — some from head to toe — gathered throughout the day Wednesday in Science Center Plaza to show their solidarity for people who have experienced sexual assault.

The annual event, celebrated around the world since 1998, was hosted at Harvard by the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and the Consent Advocates and Relationship Educators.

The campaign arose after the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction in 1998 after it concluded that a woman’s jeans were too tight for the alleged perpetrator to remove without her consent, according to an emailed statement by OSAPR Director Pierre R. Berastaín Ojeda ’10.

“The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim,” Berastaín wrote. “Denim Day is a response to this case and a statement of the international activism that it sparked.”

In the days leading up to the event, Harvard affiliates had the opportunity to sign a solidarity pledge through a Google form circulated over campus email lists. The form prompted students to indicate their affiliation with different student organizations and teams and to write a personal pledge.

Continue reading here