Denim Day will take place Wednesday, April 28, from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The day is hosted by Ohio University’s Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life and Survivor Advocacy Program, or SAP, and is a way to show support to survivors of sexual assault and violence.
“The Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life is extremely grateful not only for the Survivor Advocacy Program’s support and partnership but for the ability to work with them on this program,” Ariel Tarosky, director of Sorority & Fraternity Life, said in an email. “Our hope by offering this workshop to students and specifically those affiliated with a sorority or fraternity is to provide them the tools and resources necessary to better support their brothers and sisters who may be a survivor of sexual assault or violence. We look forward to the ongoing collaboration with SAP to continue to educate our community in an effort to make this a safe community for all students, faculty and staff.”
Kimberly Rouse, director of SAP, added the organization as a resource for all student survivors and co-survivors.
“We provide support and advocacy in a confidential manner (i.e., we are not mandatory reporters and survivors can come to us for support and discuss their reporting options without it triggering a mandatory report to law enforcement),” Rouse said in an email. “We are working remotely for the Spring semester but are still available to meet via Microsoft Teams. More information about our services and a link to online scheduling here: www.ohio.edu/survivor.”
Students are able to show their support and involvement in a plethora of ways. Everyone on OU’s campus and surrounding campuses are encouraged to wear jeans or denim and share their involvement on social media.
Later in the day, the Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life and SAP invite all to join the workshop “The Myth of the Perfect Survivor,” at 12 p.m. Those interested can register to attend the workshop at bit.ly/OUSAPregister.
The workshop will provide participants with the tools and resources to best support survivors on a daily basis, while also dismantling the myth of the perfect rape victim. The workshop will talk about the “perfect survivor” and what they look and act like, and why people are led to believing this myth.
“This day is so important because we know that college-aged students are most at risk for sexual violence,” Rouse said in an email. “We must take a stand to combat rape myths, show support of survivors, and work to build a culture at Ohio University and beyond that says that violence is not acceptable, and survivors will be supported. Sexual assault is much more common than many believe so by participating in Denim Day, other sexual assault awareness month events, and by being an ally to survivors and combatting rape culture you are making a difference and showing survivors that they matter and that they are not alone.”
Alex Williams, a junior studying strategic communication, is a part of the Women's Panhellenic executive board, and she is looking forward to the insightful information that will be shared during the day-long event.
“Denim Day for me is like more than just what we work towards in Panhellenic and what we work towards within my own chapter with our values,” Williams said. “It's supporting women even outside of Greek life and believing survivors. It's a unified front; it's a day where people who may not even feel comfortable coming out with their story or that have came out with their story — they know that people wearing denim that day have their back. That if anything would have happened, then everyone wearing denim is there to lend a hand and maybe even give a hug or shoulder, if needed.”