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“What Were You Wearing?”

Last updated on October 19, 2022

By: Victoria Shelton

Vol State is hosting an event in order to dispel the idea of sexual assault victim blaming. This event is called “What Were You Wearing” and is an art installation that students will be able to walk through and read stories from people who have been personally affected by sexual assault.

This event will be hosted at the Gallatin campus, in the Rochelle Plaza located in the Thigpen Library. The installation will be open Oct. 17-21, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

The purpose of this exhibit is to help debunk the idea that the victim was wearing clothing that could have led to the assault, also called victim blaming.

According to the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmondtone, victim blaming is, “ The common tendency for people to look for the cause of violence as something the person who experienced harm did or didn’t do to prevent it.”

Tiffany Zwart, the organizer for the event, stated, “This installation is really impactful. Blaming a survivor of sexual assault for their own assault can be extremely damaging to a person who is already struggling. Students are able to walk this exhibit at their own pace as they see fit. We are also accepting student stories that we can use in the future, if a student feels comfortable sharing.”

The installation will feature articles of clothing that were worn during the time of the attack and will have a short story about the assault. There will be brochures available with information about local agencies for any students looking for help. Student Engagement will be there on Oct. 20 with the Well Table from 12:45-1:45 p.m., to pass out food and Chanel Miller’s book “Know My Name.”

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, or RAINN, is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and they operate the sexual assault hotline, if you are in need of help the hotline is available 24/7: 1-800-656-4673.

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