They were doubted, humiliated and victimized with the question, “what were you wearing?” Now, sexual assault survivors are responding.
An art exhibit coming to UF will display recreations of the outfits sexual assault survivors wore on the day of their assault. The installation is asking UF students for anonymous submissions describing the outfits survivors wore. Then, the outfits will be created based off the three to five sentence description, said Rita Lawrence, UF’s interpersonal violence prevention coordinator.
“We don’t want to put anymore burden on (the victims),” she said. “We want to take on that burden as prevention people, and we’ll look at the narrative and recreate it.”
Deadline for submissions is March 9. Dropboxes for submissions are located in GatorWell, University Police’s Office of Victim Services and The Center for Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies. Students can also submit online on GatorWell’s website.
The “What were you wearing?” exhibit will run from April 2 to April 30 on the third floor of Ustler Hall, Lawrence said. It’s hosted by Sexual Trauma Interpersonal Violence Education, or STRIVE, at GatorWell and the American Medical Student Association.
Stephanie Kaufman, a 19-year-old UF exploratory science and engineering freshman, said this exhibit may be able to help others understand the definitions of sexual assault and victim blaming and how to respond to it.
“You shouldn’t be worried that something is going to happen to you because of what you’re wearing,” she said.