SEXUAL VIOLENCE/What were you wearing?

In the world, one woman in three knows closely the violence. In Italy the biggest part of sexual abuses is caused by their partner and when the victim is killed, in 80% of the cases, is caused by an Italian cityzen. Sexual violence is a serious public health and human rights problem world wide. Very often the victim suffers in silence because of the shame and fear of the act. They feel responsible. It was their fault.

The exhibit

An attempt to break the silence is a powerful art exhibit “What Were You Wearing”, organised in 2017 by the students of Kansas University(USA). The images of those clothes of abuses are going all around the world and are making people become aware, even thanks to the shares on the socials. This exhibition features 18 clothes, exposed near a pannel where we can find the true story of a woman who has been sexual abused and who wore a dress like that when it happened. Outfits include a bikini, a young collared shirt, a sexy red dress and a T-shirt and jeans.

The message of the exhibit

Those 18 clothes say a lot, first of all they say that what you’re wearing makes no difference: the sexual abuser will rape you indipendently from what you were wearing that damned day. The person causes the harm not the outfit.<<T-shirt and jeans. It happened to me three times in my life, with three different people. Every time I wore a t-shirt and jeans>> tells us one victim. <<A nice dress. I liked it since I saw it(…)I only wanted to have fun that night(…)I remember when I crawled on the floor looking for that stupid dress>>, it’s the story connected with a red dress. <<A sundress. Months after my mother would stand in front of my closet and complained about how I never wore any of my dresses anymore. I was 6 years old>>, reveals an ex little girl ruined by sexual violence.

This is not consent

There are too many people in the world who believe that a woman dressed in sexy clothes, who have been assaulted, just “asks for trouble” therefore she “deserves it”. Every woman should have the right to wear anything she wants to, without giving somebody “the right” to abuse her. Women should be able to choose how to dress to feel good with themselves, give them confidence and make them feel at ease. They are not seeking for adverse attention, whistles and sounds of horns from men. This makes women feel uncomfortable. We mustn’t feel dirty when men look at us and we mustn’t feel like whores only because we wear something that make us gain control over our own sexuality and beauty. We must be proud of what we are and wear our clothings with pride.


SEXUAL VIOLENCE/What were you wearing?

Il mondo è bello perché è vario