Sexual Assault Awareness Month
The first nationally recognized Sexual Assault Awareness Month was coordinated by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) in 2001. In 2009, President Barack Obama became the first president to officially proclaim April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Beginning with the National Day of Action on the first Tuesday of the Month and culminating with Denim Day on the last Wednesday of the month, the programming throughout the month of April is dedicated to prevention, education, and awareness of sexual violence within our local, national, and global community.
National Day of Action: April 6, 2021
The first Tuesday of every April is the National Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action. Day of Action is an opportunity to start off the month with visible and intentional actions. Below are a few ways that you can participate in the Day of Action and in SAAM all month long:
- Wear teal, the official national awareness color, and let others know why. Post a selfie with the hashtags #SAAM2021 or #UandMETIX.
- Change your Zoom background to one of the official Union-branded, denim-themed images for Denim Day 2021.
- Follow the Office of Title IX on Instagram, @uniontitleix.
- Review local resources for sexual violence including emergency services, mental and emotional support and legal services.
- Donate to the YWCA of Eastern New York or Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, which, in partnership with Union, serve as free, confidential resources for students who have experienced gender-based misconduct.
- Request a training or educational program for your club, organization, team or department.
- Explore the Title IX website to learn about resources, support services, community policies and procedures.
Denim Day: April 28, 2021
Denim Day grew out of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans. An 18-year old girl was picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor during which time she reported that he took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the case, and forcefully raped her. The perpetrator was arrested and convicted; however, the decision was turned over by the Italian Supreme Court and the matter was dismissed. In a statement by the Chief Judge, he argued, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”
Enraged by the verdict, women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans to work. This call to action motivated and emboldened the California Senate and Assembly to do the same. People all over the world were outraged, and wearing jeans became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes and myths surrounding sexual assault.
Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles, led by Patti Giggans, organized the country’s first Denim Day event in 1999. Under POV’s leadership, Denim Day LA & USA has grown into a national movement. In 2011, more than 2 million Americans participated in Denim Day.
Whether you are working or learning from home, or it's been a while since you've sported a pair of jeans, we've got you covered! We encourage you to utilize one of our Union-branded Zoom backgrounds for Denim Day 2021 or all month long!
Request A Training
Education and training are important aspects of a healthy Title IX culture. The Title IX Office works to training the various populations within the Union College community including student groups, teams, and organizations, faculty divisions, and staff departments. Members of the Title IX team including the Deputy Title IX Coordinators, investigators, and hearing panelists undergo special annual trainings to ensure they are facilitating all College procedures effectively.
Trainings facilitated by the Title IX Office can be found below. If you are looking for the Title IX Office to facilitate a training or workshop for you, please complete the Title IX Training & Request Form below.
Employee Training & Education
In compliance with New York State HR laws, employees of the College undergo sexual harassment prevention training to learn about preventing and reporting sexual harassment in employment.
All employees at Union College, except those deemed confidential resources, are considered Responsible Employees. This training session discusses the who, what, when, where, and why or reporting obligations.
Title IX Team Training & Education
Member of the Title IX team including the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, investigators, and hearing panelists undergo annual training to ensure the equitable facilitation of our procedures incompliance with New York State and federal law.