What Were You Wearing?
At colleges and universities around the country, it has been reported that two-thirds of college students experience sexual harassment. Studies have also found approximately 26% of all female undergraduate students, and nearly 7% of all male undergraduate students, have experienced sexual assault.
Survivors of sexual assault are often asked, “What were you wearing?” This form of victim-blaming has created a negative experience for survivors. Asking a survivor about what they were wearing implies that they did something wrong to invoke the attack.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion would like to host an exhibit that displays and features stories of sexual violence and representation of what a victim was wearing at the time of their assault. The intent of the exhibit would be to remove the negative connotation of victim-blaming and debunk this myth that what an individual was wearing was “their fault.”
The What You Were Wearing exhibit is a national program that many colleges and universities host. The exhibit’s goal is to bring a greater awareness of the myths surrounding survivors of sexual assault, and that what they were wearing has no bearing on being assaulted.
What Were You Wearing Exhibit
April 2023 is sexual assault awareness month. It will be the goal to display the exhibit in an exhibit area on campus that will highlight featured stories shared by survivors of sexual assault. The Executive Director of DEI will solicit shared stories of survivors within the Blackburn community and surrounding area (students, staff, faculty, and community members). These shared stories will remain anonymous and on a volunteer basis. The Executive Director of DEI will launch a campaign in partnership with Marketing and Public Relations. In addition, the Executive Director of DEI will partner with the Art department to facilitate and coordinate the actual exhibit for display.
The exhibit will be displayed for three days for participants to view in the month of April 26, 2023 through April 28, 2023. On the first day of the exhibit at 12:00p.m. in the ADR, a featured presenter will share their account of a sexual assault they experienced. The presenter will provide a shared account of their experience while highlighting “What they were wearing”, how they have overcome the assault through support and resources, and they will answer questions.
The deadline to submit a story is March 31, 2023.
- Margaret Lawler, Title IX Coordinator
- Marshall Petty, Director of HR & HR Designee
- Tod Dowdy, Director of Campus Safety
- Tim Morenz, Director of Counseling Services – Confidential Reporting
What Were You Wearing Submission Form
Do you have a story you want to share to add to our Installation of the What Were You Wearing Art exhibit? Fill out our form and share your story today.