A traveling exhibit aimed to dispel what organizers say is a popular myth about sexual assault is on display at Illinois State this month.
The What Were You Wearing exhibit is a collection of outfits worn by people when they were raped or sexually assaulted. Shelly Clevenger, a faculty member in ISU’s criminal justice department, says the goal is to prove to visitors that a victim’s attire does not determine their fate.
“There’s a lot of victim blaming surrounding what people were wearing when they were sexually assaulted or raped, and that’s often not the reason why they were sexually assaulted or raped, but it’s a common rape myth thinking, ‘oh, if someone dressed differently or were wearing something else they wouldn’t be assaulted,'” Clevenger said. “But, what this exhibit shows is that people could be wearing all sorts of things and it has nothing to do with the victimization they experienced.”
The display includes work attire, military uniforms, and a section of male victims’ clothing.
The exhibit is available Thursday March 28 from 7-9 p.m. at the Bone Student Center.