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Victims share stories on Denim Day

Cal State Long Beach’s friendship walk was lined with T-shirts displaying graphic messages from sexual assault victims as part of Denim Day and sexual assault awareness month, Wednesday. 

Denim Day stems from a 1998 ruling by an Italian judge, who stated “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them…and by removing … [them] … it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”

The YWCA, hosted the Clothesline Project, which ran from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

 “He said ‘I love u’ each time he… hit… kicked… choked… me!” a shirt read. 

Students took time between classes to stop and read some 700 customized shirts.

Another shirt read, “I was only 11 years old… I am no longer your little girl daddy” but the word “daddy” was crossed out.

“It really brings to life the long-term affects abuse has on women,” Chris Morgan, business major, said about the messages shown on the T-shirts.

One T-shirt was made in honor of Kate Su Yi, a CSULB nursing student, who was killed by her boyfriend in 2009.

“These are messages to the people who are abusing women,” said Megan McDonald, a health major at Cal State Long Beach.

Different colored shirts represented different types of abuse. Gang rape, incest, and even women who died from or survived sexual violence were all represented in colors ranging from black and yellow to white.

YWCA attempts to play a large part in sexual awareness month, hosting workshops when requested and giving victims, as well as others, a chance to vent about their abuses.

Last week about 100 people were present at an open mic speakout held near the nursing buildings.

“A lot of people said this was their first time ever talking about what happened,” Ashleigh Klein, program specialist for the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles.

YWCA also attempts to dispel myths about rape such as a rapist being easy to spot in a crowd or that rapes are always reported to the police.

Another speakout will be held today at 8 p.m. at the University Student Union southwest terrace as a part of an event called “Take Back the Night.”

A crisis intervention hotline for students can be reached at 877-Y-HELPS-U. The T-shirts will be on display Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

 


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