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“What Was I Wearing?” (“¿Qué Traía Puesto?”) is an important and topical exhibition that invites the community to question harmful attitudes and reactions by sharing the stories of survivors and representing the outfits they were wearing at the time of the assault. The outfits displayed will be assembled based on descriptions given by survivors, or from clothes donated by the survivors themselves.
This exhibition aims to challenge the belief that the clothes a person wears determines how likely they are to be sexually assaulted. Too often, survivors are asked what they were wearing at the time of the assault, or other questions about the time, place or circumstances – suggesting that they are at fault for what happened to them. Sexual assault is never the survivor’s fault – instead, the blame should lie with the person who chose to harm them.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any forced, coerced, or unwanted sexual experience. It can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, or age. Sexual assault doesn’t just happen between strangers. More often it happens between people who already know each other – intimate partners, acquaintances, coworkers, family members, and trusted friends.
If you have experienced any form of sexual assault at any time in your life, we invite you to share your story.
Here are a few things to consider:
- You must be 18 or older to participate.
- While participating in events like this one can feel incredibly empowering for many, it can also bring up painful memories and emotions.
- We hope for this exhibition to continue for years to come in a variety of settings.
- Depending on the number of stories we receive and the space available for each exhibition, we may not be able to display everyone’s stories or outfits.
- All stories will remain anonymous. No names will be displayed as part of the exhibition.
- If you choose, we can contact you to review your outfit.
- You can always change your mind about participating and withdraw your submission by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our first exhibition will start on April 1st with an opening ceremony and will be on display through the months of April, May and June at the gallery of the Consulate General of Mexico, Austin.
- We plan to host a pre-exhibition at our Grove location in late January for survivors and the SAFE community that will not be open to the general public, so that survivors can view the gallery in a private and supportive space.
We invite you to share your story and become a part of this project to raise awareness about sexual assault. Please remember that you must be 18 or older to participate.