who we are

using the power of prevention education to promote healthy relationships and sexuality by addressing the underlying social determinants of violence and to create equal and respectful relationships.

illuminate is an interpersonal violence prevention (ipv) program, working to keep violence from happening through educational workshops, community events, social norms, policy, and promoting healthy relationships and sexuality.

what we do

illuminate seeks to shed light on the social injustices that lead to sexual and relationship violence and to create social change through prevention programming such as bystander intervention, anti-oppression, consent workshops and social norms campaigns.

Demin pants on a clothesline.

denim day

denim day is a campaign to spread awareness and educate people about sexual violence. denim day always happens the last wednesday in april, which is sexual assault awareness month. we ask people to wear denim as a visible sign of protest against sexual violence and to come together as a community.

about denim day

history of denim day

in rome in 1992, a 45-year-old driving instructor was accused of rape. when he picked up an 18-year-old girl for her first driving lesson, he allegedly raped her for an hour, then told her that if she was to tell anyone he would kill her. later that night she told her parents and her parents agreed to help her press charges. while the alleged rapist was convicted and sentenced, the italian supreme court overturned the conviction in 1998 because the victim wore tight jeans. it was argued that she must have had to help her attacker remove her jeans, thus making the act consensual (“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”). the italian supreme court stated in its decision “it is a fact of common experience that it is nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active collaboration of the person who is wearing them.”[1] as of 2008 the italian supreme court has overturned their findings, and there is no longer a “denim” defense to the charge of rape.

taking the pledge

we would like all psu staff and faculty to wear denim on wednesday, april 29, 2020 to participate in this important annual event. by filling out the pledge form, you can take the pledge, as an individual staff or faculty or as a department, to participate. for those who take a pledge we will send out a packet of information about denim day, a week in advance, complete with “ask me why i’m wearing denim” buttons and a concise elevator pitch to help you easily answer that question.

students are encouraged to wear denim and to visit us in the park blocks between 9am-3pm on april 29, 2020. come participate in day-of-action activities, enjoy free food and drinks, enter our raffle, and pick up their your “ask me why i’m wearing denim” button.

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities

anyone interested in volunteering to do outreach and/or event tabling please contact and sign up for our monthly newsletter.  our newsletter provides information about ipv services on campus and upcoming events. there are a variety of internship opportunities for mph, mpa and msw students, such as curriculum development and program evaluation. if you are interested in an internship position contact amy collins: