Organizations Raise Awareness about Sexual Assault

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BROWNSVILLE — UTRGV partnered Wednesday with several organizations to raise awareness amongst students about sexual assault through an event called “Denim Day.”

Prevention advocates told Channel 5 News they’ve been observing the day since the 1990s, when an Italian court overturned a rape conviction, citing that the victim’s pants were too tight, and she must’ve helped her aggressor take them off.

Cynthia Jones, with UTRGV Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention Center, said data shows 90 percent of sexual assaults that happen on campus are perpetrated by someone the victim knows.

Prevention advocates say one of their main goals is to spread the message that it is never okay to blame victims for being sexually assaulted. They want students to know there are resources available for them.

Yvonne Lopez, volunteer education coordinator at Friendship of Women in Brownsville, said more victims are stepping forth now, but there’s more to be done. She adds that stereotypes need to be broken to make sure men can also report these crimes against them.

The UTRGV Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention Center is available to all students enrolled at the university.