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Survivors Of Sexual Assault Share What They Were Wearing

Survivors Of Sexual Assault Share What They Were Wearing

An exhibition displaying the clothes people were wearing when they were assaulted has received attention on social media

Trigger warning: This article discusses rape and sexual assault

Sexual assault survivors are sharing the clothes they were wearing as part of an exhibition to challenge victim blaming.

The exhibit, which has been displayed at the University of Kansas among other locations, was filmed and posted by @haavnik and has since become viral on TikTok, achieving more than 4.8m viewers and 926,000 likes.

It includes accounts of sexual assault written in first person from real survivors and recreations of the clothes they were wearing when the attack took place.

A horrific and misogynistic myth which often gets repeated in instances of sexual assault suggests women who dress modestly may avoid an attack, while those who don't are 'asking for it'.

TikTok users shared their reactions to the exhibit and many people were horrified by the number of baby clothes on display. People also praised the survivors for coming forward with their experiences and sharing it with others.

The exhibit aims to dispel the myth about clothing and sexual assault.

One response said: “The poor children, they shouldn't experience such pain at a young age.”

A TikTok user commented on the idea that clothes make some women more likely to experience sexual assault. “It will never be the victim's fault,” they said.

While another person shared their own story in the comments: “It was hard for me to accept it wasn’t my fault for years, even till this day, it's not your fault, clothes aren’t consent.”

Another woman shared: “And people still have the audacity to say it was the closest you were/are wearing.”

A fifth person shared: “I told someone about it they asked me was I was wearing i had never been so angry but i said i was wearing a loose long sleeve shirt and black legging”.

Women in the comments also shared what they were wearing during incidents of sexual assault in solidarity with the survivors represented in the exhibit.

“I was wearing a green cammi top and black skinny jeans,” said one woman.

Sexual assault survivors shared what they were wearing.

A TikTok user shared: “How is wearing a school uniform "asking" when I just needed to go to school???”

While a third said: “leggings and a green hoody myself, seeing the small clothes is heartbreaking”.

And a fourth wrote: “The cutest romper, it had sailor Moon on it with buttons all the way down the front. I was 7.”

Jen Brockman, one of the exhibit’s founders, is the director of Kansas University’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center. The exhibit was covered by Journal-World in 2018 and Brockman spoke with the publication about the inspiration behind the exhibit.

“The reality is, violence has nothing to do with the clothing you’re wearing,” Brockman told the publication. “It has everything do with someone choosing to do harm against you.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact The Survivor’s Trust for free on 08088 010 818, or through their website 

Featured Image Credit: @haavnik/TikTok

Topics: News, Life