Denim Day NYC Op-Ed Contest – Due April 8th

Denim Day NYC 2013

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April) and Denim Day there will be a Citywide Op-ed Writing Contest for college students. A $500 prize for one winner from each Borough will be offered.

The Denim Day NYC planning committee – Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Crime Victim’s Treatment Center, Start Strong Bronx, YWCA of Brooklyn, Frank and Ruth E. Caruso Foundation, Teen Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP) and Steps to End Family Violence along with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, and Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro will be co-sponsoring this contest with the goal of celebrating the voices of college students and engaging them to think critically about the issue of sexual assault. This year’s theme is Telling the Truth About Sexual Violence.

Who May Enter

The Denim Day 2013 Op-ed Contest is open to New York City undergraduate college students. Students must be currently enrolled, either full-time or part-time, in a 2 or 4-year undergraduate college or university located in the 5 boroughs of New York City. Read the official rules.

Op-ed Requirements

Winning op-ed’s will be those that best represent the Denim Day 2013 theme of “Telling the Truth About Sexual Violence,” by discussing one of the following topics:

  1. Victim blaming in the college community
  2. Myths about what causes sexual violence on campus
  3. The impact of sexual violence on college students
  4. Being an ally to end sexual violence on your campus
  5. Changing college culture to prevent sexual violence

Op-eds must be between 500 and 700 words in length, and may be written in either English or Spanish. Only a student’s original work will be considered. Plagiarism will result in an automatic disqualification. Only one submission per contest participant will be considered.

For an example of an op-ed about sexual violence in campus communities, check this out. For tips on writing your op-ed, check out this and this.

Click here to enter.

The deadline for submission is April 8, 2013 at 5:00 PM EST.

The History of Denim Day

Denim Day grew out of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans. The judges reasoned the victim’s tight jeans meant that she had to have helped her assailant remove them, implying consent. 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.

A Public Health and Safety Issue That Affects All of Us

Sexual violence is difficult to discuss and often goes unmentioned. But 1 in 5 American women have been raped at some time in their lives — and 1 in 71 American men. Nearly 1 in 2 American women and 1 in 5 men have experienced other forms of sexual violence, including forced penetration, sexual coercion and unwanted sexual contact. And young people are at the highest risk: it is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys have had an unwanted or abusive sexual experience in childhood. Learn more.