President Kaler encourages campus engagement in this week’s sexual assault awareness activities

As the nation’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month enters its final week, President Eric W. Kaler is encouraging members of the campus community to participate in special events taking place Wednesday, April 27.

The first is Denim Day, co-hosted by the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, LGBT Center and #MeToo CWRU; the Mather Center is also hosting an Advocacy Day.

“This Wednesday, we have the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to advocate for survivors, address harmful attitudes, and intervene when others may be at risk,” President Kaler said. “Please take part in showing the strength and compassion of our community.”

Launched in 1999 after an Italian court overturned a rape conviction in part because the victim was wearing “tight jeans,” Denim Day has grown into a global campaign to support survivors and correct misconceptions around sexual violence.

As part of Advocacy Day, campus community members can engage virtually with lawmakers and learn more about policies and legislative activities.

All of the activities are part of the Mather Center’s It’s on CWRU, an ongoing sexual assault and violence prevention initiative that includes workshops, programs, resources and events designed to educate and engage students, faculty and staff regarding ways to “disrupt the culture of violence.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than one in three women and nearly one in four men experience sexual violence involving physical contact in their lifetimes.

While some on campus have roles where donning denim is not possible, the university encourages members of campus community to learn more about the history of the event and other steps they can take to raise awareness of sexual violence and assist survivors.