Sexual Assault Education & Prevention Program

What Were You Wearing Art Installation

 

 

this exhibit has moved to a virtual setting.

The What Were You Wearing exhibit is an installation answering the question frequently asked of survivors. This exhibit features narratives and re-creations of outfits based on survivors' experiences. This event occurs yearly during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It is hosted both in the Carlson Library on Main Campus and the Mulford Library on Health Science Campus. Please join us to unlearn one of our culture's most prevalent rape myths.

It is presented by the Title IX Office & hosted in University Libraries. The Spring 2020 the installation is featuring the 5 new stories that were submitted during this academic year. We are honored and privileged to host their stories. One story will be release each week during the month of April 2020.

Monday, April 6th - Story #1

 Men's Detroit Tigers Shirt and Small White Pair of Child Sized Underwear     I was sexually abused for 8 years by my siblings. I was eight years old the first time it happened. I remember it like it was yesterday. I don't think I will ever forget either.

Wednesday, April 8th - Story #2

 I was 13, in my school uniform. He was 3 years older than me, and said his mom had made dinner while we waited for the basketball game at our school to start. I never made it to the basketball game. He shamed me, and it continued for a year until I spoke about it to anyone.     Outfit 2 Story

Wednesday, April 15th - Story #3

He was 8 years older than me and visiting the US. Even though he had a lengthy criminal record in Canada, he was able to cross the border in Detroit with no issues. Sometimes I wonder how different things would be if USCIS did extensive background checks like they do for us international students hailing from Muslim-majority countries for Canadian citizens too. Regardless, I trusted him because I didn't think I had anything to fear in broad daylight. I screamed as loud as I could and no one helped me. After it was over, I was bleeding and sobbing loudly. He asked if I liked it.     Outfit 3 Story

Wednesday, April 22nd - Story #4

 It was 13 years ago, and I still remember that instant as it is etched so vividly in my mind. I had stayed up all night helping my family host an event at the temple. The following day, I still had all that energy of a 13-year-old. Just for an instant I wandered off to the car and those car seats make me want to take a nap. I went to my dad smiling and said I wanted to sleep for a while in the cars and he, clueless of how things were never going to be the same for his little girl again handed me the keys. How could any normal human being be provoked by a kid sleeping? I woke up to an uncomfortable pain that still makes me shiver. I saw this man, a familiar face trying to pacify me saying “It is just me! your favorite Uncle! Don’t be scared”. How can I ever see the world with innocence again? I went and told my mother feeling helpless and weak, but she asked me to let it go and just keep it quiet and that she would take care of it. Her words were “If anyone finds out about this, I will forever be marked.” Until then, I believed in humanity. It has haunted me for more than a decade until I finally reached out for help. My reason for sharing this now is because nobody deserves to suffer in silence. More importantly, judgements curb the chances for a person to heal. It isn’t the victim’s fault despite what he/she was wearing.     It was 13 years ago, and I still remember that instant as it is etched so vividly in my mind. I had stayed up all night helping my family host an event at the temple. The following day, I still had all that energy of a 13-year-old. Just for an instant I wandered off to the car and those car seats make me want to take a nap. I went to my dad smiling and said I wanted to sleep for a while in the cars and he, clueless of how things were never going to be the same for his little girl again handed me the keys. How could any normal human being be provoked by a kid sleeping? I woke up to an uncomfortable pain that still makes me shiver. I saw this man, a familiar face trying to pacify me saying “It is just me! your favorite Uncle! Don’t be scared”. How can I ever see the world with innocence again? I went and told my mother feeling helpless and weak, but she asked me to let it go and just keep it quiet and that she would take care of it. Her words were “If anyone finds out about this, I will forever be marked.” Until then, I believed in humanity. It has haunted me for more than a decade until I finally reached out for help. My reason for sharing this now is because nobody deserves to suffer in silence. More importantly, judgements curb the chances for a person to heal. It isn’t the victim’s fault despite what he/she was wearing.

Wednesday, April 29th - Story #5

 Outfit 5      Story 5

Story 5 Part 2     Story 5 Part 3

Additionally, Title IX will be hosting several webinars on Bringing In The Bystander in the month of April. To register for one of these presentations please sign up on Invonet: invonet.utoledo.edu 

If you have a disability and require an accommodation during this event, please note as such thru the Invonet platform while signing up for the presentation. 

SUBMIT A STORY

The collection captures real life narratives from our UToledo Community including faculty, staff, and students. If you would like to submit your narrative and a detailed description of the outfit you were wearing to the Title IX Office for possible display in our installation, you can do so anonymously by clicking the link below. 

Thank you for allowing us to honor your story.

 SHARE YOUR SURVIVOR STORY HERE

  Jamie Wlosowicz and Dr. Sharon Gaber
Last Updated: 4/29/20