“What Were You Wearing?” 

Sexual assault is a global epidemic. Bodies are assaulted left and right in alternate forms that can shake a person to their core. Sexual assault is an invasive, predatory act that can strip away everything from the person who has been assaulted. Often when talking to survivors about their experiences, the common responses of why they haven’t spoken up or reported their perpetrators is because of the lack of justice seen in previous cases.  

The justice system is flawed, there are many areas that need new legislation. The legal consequences that result from convicting someone who’s committed the crime of sexual assault should be top priority. Thousands of bodies are invaded by assailants that will have no repercussions for their actions.  

The common questions asked when reporting a crime of sexual assault is “what were you wearing?”, not “how are you?”, not “where is he?”, not “how intoxicated was he?”, not “how can we find him/her?”, and not “what can we do for you?”

  

“What were you wearing?” A question that rattles survivors to their core because it perpetually screams out the disconnect to the body that has been violated by another human being. It objectifies the survivor belittling their story to mere clothing— it puts the blame on the survivor.  

A national campaign to combat the sensitivity of this issue was created by Jen Brockman and Dr. Wyandt-Hiebert who ran the RESPECT Program at the University of Arkansas in 2013. The Student-Survivor Installation raises awareness for the epidemic of sexual assault cases on college campuses. Revision: the intersectional feminist club at Oxford College held their own “What Were You Wearing?” installation.  

Many students came out to the opening night on Monday November 13th at 6:30pm in the Old dining hall. There were performances by known college performers, Aliyah Auerbach and Iman Ali who performed “Quiet” by MILCK and “Warrior” by Demi Lovato.  

The installation serves a way for students to be aware that no matter what someone is wearing it is no excuse to violate their bodies.