‘What Were You Wearing?’ Returns for Four-Day Exhibit for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April 12, 2021 | Events, News, UToday, Student Affairs
By Kirk Baird

The “What Were You Wearing?” exhibit returns to Main Campus in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Hosted by the UToledo Title IX Office and sponsored by the University Libraries, the installation runs Monday, April 12, through Thursday, April 15, at the Carlson Library in room 1005. Facial coverings and social distancing are required.

Walaa Kanan, graduate assistant for the Title IX Office majoring in social work, helps assemble the ‘What Were You Wearing?’ exhibit, which returns to campus as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

There will be an opening virtual reception featuring remarks from campus senior leadership about the exhibit beginning at 2 p.m. April 12 via Zoom. Information regarding the kick-off can be found on the event’s Invonet page.

This installation has been presented by universities nationwide with each display varying per campus with the survivor stories. The purpose of this installation is to disband the common rape myth that people “ask for it” by dressing a certain way. In reality, what someone was wearing when they were sexually assaulted does not matter.

This installation will feature new anonymous survivor narratives along with the 31 previously submitted narratives. Each narrative is presented with a re-creation of the clothing items worn by the survivors at the time of their sexual assault.

Participants have the opportunity to view the installation, learn about resources and attend educational learning sessions. Participants will also have the opportunity to 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 symbolizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Staff from the Title IX Office will be present to ensure that students, faculty, staff and visitors can ask questions and get connected with campus resources.

“As an institution and being part of the UToledo community, we never want to be desensitized to the gravity of the impact of education and awareness regarding sexual misconduct,” said Vicky Kulicke, UToledo director of Title IX and Compliance and Title IX coordinator. “This installation is an anchoring event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”

The Title IX Office is hosting several Bystander Intervention and Consent Culture trainings during the month of April, as well as a series of hour-long virtual Lunch and Learns this week, each beginning at noon.

•  Monday, April 12, University Counseling Center & The Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness;

•  Tuesday, April 13, Employee Wellness, Understanding Trauma and PTSD;

•  Wednesday, April 14, Consent Culture & Bystander Intervention; and

•  Thursday, April 15, Title IX.

On March 31, the Title IX Office set up red flags in Centennial Mall spelling out 3,636, which represents the number of intimate partner/domestic violence, felonious assaults, and domestic violence threats reported to the Toledo Police Department last year.

The Red Flag Campaign is rooted in the bystander intervention strategy to bring attention to and address dating violence, stalking and sexual assault.

Additionally, during the month of April, the Title IX Office will collect hygiene products to donate to a local gender inclusive shelter that services survivors. Title IX ambassadors developed the service project in response to the need during the pandemic. Donation boxes will be setup at The Office of  Student Affairs, The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, The Office of Multicultural Student Services, The Student Commuter Lounge, Carlson Library 1005, and The Office for Student Advocacy and Support.

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

Additional events planned for Sexual Assault Awareness Month can be located by visiting the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program website.

The Title IX Office can be reached at titleix@utoledo.edu or 419.530.4191.

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