‘What Were You Wearing?’ Exhibit to be Shared on Social Media During Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April 7, 2020 | Events, News, UToday, Student Affairs
By Christine Billau

An exhibit displaying the stories and re-creations of the clothing survivors were wearing at the time of their assaults is one of a number of events The University of Toledo will hold virtually during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The “What Were You Wearing?” installation, which is sponsored by the UToledo Title IX Office, will be shared on the Title IX Office’s website and social media pages.

This is one of the outfits included in the “What Were You Wearing?” virtual installation.

“Continued awareness surrounding sexual assault is key to changing perceptions,” Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, vice president for student affairs and vice provost, said. “This virtual exhibit allows survivors of assault the opportunity to be heard, validated and believed, and it also creates a space for the UToledo community to participate in this critical conversation.”

In its third year at UToledo, the installation features survivor stories that will be released on Wednesdays starting April 8 on the Title IX Office’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The goal of the project is to debunk the myth that sexual violence happens because someone dresses a certain way or that they are “asking for it.”

“This year’s virtual exhibit allows for the important message to be shared even while we are not on campus,” Vicky Kulicke, director of Title IX and compliance, said. “We want our UToledo community to understand the difference between the messages received in media regarding victim blaming and the reality presented in this virtual installation.”

The exhibit has been presented on campuses across the U.S. since it was created in 2013 and changes at each campus based on the submissions of the survivors of sexual assault in each location.

“I am grateful that the Title IX Office adapted quickly to honor people who submitted their stories this year,” said Maya Mineoi, graduate assistant with the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program. “Regardless of any limitations on in-person programming, I am inspired that the focus on survivors’ stories was not lost.”

“We are honored and privileged that those who submitted stories in the UToledo community trusted us to share their stories,” Lindsay Tuttle, sexual misconduct prevention education coordinator, said. “It’s important that we as bystanders react with empathy and support, not victim blaming, when someone is impacted by sexual misconduct.”

Additional events hosted by the Title IX Office in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month include:

Thursday, March 26 through April 30

Red Flag Campaign in Goddard Field along Bancroft Street across from University Hall. Red flags are displayed to spell out the number 3,537, which stands for the number of Toledo police reports last year of domestic violence, domestic assault, stalking and violations to protection orders.

Wednesday, April 8

• Bringing in the Bystander virtual training from noon to 1:30 p.m. Students, faculty and staff can sign up on Invonet to participate using Zoom. Title IX leaders at UToledo will explore different strategies to help a friend or acquaintance by safely intervening in instances of sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking.

Monday, April 13

• Bringing in the Bystander virtual training from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sign up on Invonet to participate using Zoom.

Thursday, April 23

• Bringing in the Bystander virtual training from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sign up on Invonet to participate using Zoom.

Wednesday, April 29

• Bringing In The Bystander virtual training from noon to 1:30 p.m. Sign up on Invonet to participate using Zoom.

• Denim Day. Faculty, staff and students are asked to wear jeans to raise awareness of sexual violence and post photos online using the hashtags #utoledotitleix and #utoledodenimday.

• Learn to make origami at 9 a.m. on Title IX’s Facebook and Instagram pages as a self-care activity during Rocket Coalition’s De-Stress Fest.

For information about Title IX or where to report an incident related to Title IX, visit the UToledo Title IX website.

Additional resources for students, faculty and staff can be found on the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program website.

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