The powerful installation “What Were You Wearing?” hosted by UToledo’s Title IX Office, returns for a four-day exhibit from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. Monday, April 11, through Thursday, April 14, in Carlson Library Room 1005.
This year’s “What Were You Wearing?” exhibition is a new collection of 31 survivors’ stories and re-creations of the outfits they were wearing at the time of their sexual assaults. The goal of “What Were You Wearing?” is to debunk the common sexual assault myths that sexual violence happens because someone was dressed a certain way or that they were “asking for it.”
“I am honored to be a part of a project that allows survivors to share their stories in an empowering and impactful way,” said Centraya Forbes, Title IX Graduate Assistant. “This exhibit reminds us of the reality of people’s experiences and allows us to reflect on what we can do to challenge mentalities in our community, while working to make communities safer.”
There will be an opening virtual reception featuring remarks from campus senior leadership about the exhibit, beginning at 10 a.m. April 11. To RSVP to the kickoff or for more information about the event, “What Were You Wearing?” Invonet website.
This exhibit, which was created in 2013 at the University of Arkansas, has been presented on multiple campuses across the U.S. In 2018, the then-Title IX Graduate Assistant at The University of Toledo decided to bring this exhibit to campus as a new, creative way to allow individuals the opportunity to share their stories. The collection is updated yearly based on new submissions.
“The exhibit is in its fifth year at The University of Toledo, and we are honored that survivors continuously allow us to share their stories,” said Lindsay Tuttle, Manager of Title IX Compliance, Prevention and Assessment. “It is important that we, as bystanders, educate ourselves, react with empathy and support, and do not victim blame when someone is impacted by sexual misconduct.”
“This exhibit is meaningful beyond words, and I encourage others to attend throughout the week when they are able,” said Lorren Tipping, Title IX Graduate Assistant. “This is a great opportunity to step into the conversation and support the individuals who continue to trust us with their stories.”
Participants will have the opportunity to view the installation and write messages of support on fabric that will be stitched together to create a “Messages of Hope” quilt. The quilt will feature various shades of teal for Sexual Assault Awareness Month and purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about resources and attend educational Lunch and Learn sessions that same week, each beginning at noon, hosted by the Title IX Office.
For more information and to sign up for these sessions, visit the Title IX Office’s events website.
Additional events planned for Sexual Assault Awareness Month can be found at the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program website.
The Title IX Office can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419.530.4191.