BRäV advocates for change on campus


Elizabeth Hanson

BRäV hangs jeans with words on them to advocate against and spread awareness about sexual assault on campus. The group members painted sayings such as “It wasn’t my fault” on the pants to encourage people to stop victim blaming.

Story by Sarah Day, Writer

On April 25, students across campus wore denim in order to promote the awareness of sexual assault. This event began after a wrongfully judged court case in Italy that took place in 1998. The court decided that the tightness of the victim’s jeans meant that she must have assisted the offender in the removal of the pants, therefore suggesting that she had given consent. BRäV President Gracie Benton explained that this was not the case.

“An 18 year old girl was with her 45 year old driving instructor and was instructed to go to an isolated road, where the perpetrator then forcibly removed one leg out of the jeans and assaulted her,” Benton said. “After the verdict, many women in the Italian Parliament were outraged and wore jeans to work the next day. This story reached the U.S., and many women political figures did the same. April 25 is now (recognized as) Denim Day so that we may stand together in solidarity for victims since consent is not worn on clothing.”

Neumer said that Denim Day is something students, and even adults, take part in nationwide out of remembrance and in unity with survivors of sexual assault, as it is something that has the potential to be incredibly aggressive.

During the beginning of April, both members of BRäV and Alpha Chi separately drew attention to the issue of sexual assault. Alpha Chi Omega philanthropy chair Marissa Neumer explained that the two organizations worked at the same time through tabling throughout the month.

“Alpha Chi had our Crush Sexual Assault tabling event [the first week of April], and right above our table was the Clothesline Project that was set up by BRäV,” Neumer said.

Benton explained that the Clothesline Project ties directly in with the sexual assault case the two organizations were both hoping to highlight.

“The display has phrases that support the belief of BRäV and Alpha Chi Omega that it does not matter what you wear, no one ever should expect or accept assault or any unwanted advances,” Benton said. “It should not matter if the person is fully clothed or naked — consent is always necessary.”

BRäV and Alpha Chi have expressed the hope for continuing to work together in order to put on a greater number of events for Baker so that students and faculty can continue to learn about this topic.

“It’s always nice having another group that participates in the events,” Neumer said.