“What were you wearing?”
It’s a query folks ask survivors of sexual violence all too frequently; a query wrought with victim-blaming and an implication that, possibly, the survivor may’ve avoided their attack if that they had worn one thing much less revealing, much less attractive.
An impressive artwork show off lately on show on the University of Kansas goals to debunk this delusion. The show off titled “What Were You Wearing?” options 18 tales of sexual violence and representations of what each and every sufferer used to be dressed in on the time in their attack. The outfits come with a bikini, a tender boy’s yellow collared blouse, an attractive pink get dressed and a T-shirt and denims.
The artwork challenge used to be created in 2013 through Jen Brockman, the director of KU’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center, and Dr. Mary A. Wyandt-Hiebert, who oversees all programming tasks on the University of Arkansas’ rape training heart. The set up has been featured at a number of different faculties since 2013, together with University of Arkansas and University of Iowa.
Brockman instructed HuffPost that the primary objective of “What Were You Wearing?” is to advertise consciousness about sexual violence and to fight victim-blaming.
“Participants can come into the gallery and see themselves reflected in not only the outfits, but also in the stories,” she stated. “To be able to create that moment in this space where they say, ‘Wow I have this outfit hanging in my closet,’ or ‘I wore this this week.’ By doing this we could hopefully reveal the myth that if we just avoid that outfit then we’ll never be harmed or that somehow we can eliminate sexual violence by simply changing our clothes.”
The set up accrued 40 tales of sexual violence, however handiest 18 are lately on show on the University of Kansas. Brockman stated the tales had been accrued from school and college scholars.
Students shared their tales in numerous techniques, together with in-person interviews, nameless boards reminiscent of journals displayed in previous galleries the place survivors may write down their tales, and on-line the use of hashtags. Each outfit used to be donated through college scholars to duplicate the outfit survivors described within the tales accrued.
Brockman instructed HuffPost the reactions to the gallery were overwhelmingly sure.
“When survivors come through, what we hear expressed often is validation because they’ll share with us: ‘This was my outfit. What’s hanging on this wall right now is what I was wearing,’ or ‘That’s my story. That story is just like what happened to me,’” Brockman stated. “It’s not the clothing that causes sexual violence, it’s the person who causes harm. Being able to find that peace for survivors and that moment of awareness for communities is the real motivation behind the project.”
Scroll under to look pictures from the robust “What Were You Wearing?” artwork show off.