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October 15, 2018 : Ohio University Lancaster to host "What Were You Wearing?" exhibit October 18-November 4



Ohio University Lancaster is hosting "What Were You Wearing?" exhibit October 18-November 4 in the Wilkes Galery on the 5th floor of Brasee Hall. It opens on the 18th from 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m and runs through the first half of November.


“This survivor art exhibit answers the ridiculous assertion that clothing can cause sexual assault," sys Pamela Kaylor, associate lecturer for OHIO's Lancaster campus. "Rapists cause rape, not clothing; when people get robbed, no one asks them what they were wearing.”


The installation features stories by survivors of sexual assault – members of Ohio University and local communities – who contributed their stories and clothing to speak out to share their own personal experiences.


This exhibit was supported and sponsored by: Ohio University’s Women’s Center, the Survivor Advocacy Program, Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program, the Campus Involvement Center, the College of Fine Arts, Ambassadors to the Survivor Advocacy program and Intersectional Feminist Alliance. Fairfield County sponsors for bringing the installation to Ohio University Lancaster include the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies program, Gender and Sexuality Alliance student organization, Ohio University Lancaster Student Activities, Ohio University Lancaster, the Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery, and the Take Back the Night planning committee.


The first “What Were You Wearing?” exhibit was held in 2014 at the University of Arkansas.  The event was inspired by Dr. Mary Simmerling’s poem “What Was I Wearing”? Similar exhibits have been housed all over the United States and in other countries, like Brussels. 


The charge to organize an Ohio University Survivor Art Installation was led by M. Geneva Murray, director of Ohio University’s Women’s Center.  Director Murray was an organizer for another arts-based practice last year with The Monument Quilt Display in Peden Stadium. 


“Activism is vitally important!  We must have conversations followed by actions to communicate and educate about the challenges we face in fighting against rape culture and the narratives that exists in victim blaming and false narratives about sexual assault.” said Kaylor.  “Victim blaming by people just serves to create for them the false illusion that it won’t happen to them.  If you don’t engage in victim blaming, you have to accept it could happen to anyone – even you.  The reality is that it does happen to anyone, anywhere, any time – and it could happen to you”


The National Coalition against Domestic Violence (NCADV) reports that 1:5 women and 1:71 men will be raped in their lifetime in the United States.  They also indicate that 1:3 women have been the victims of physical violence by intimate partners in their lifetimes.


According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), every 98 seconds, An American woman is sexually assaulted.  On average, there are 321,500 victims who are age 12 or older of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.  Each day 570 people experience sexual violence in this country.


According to the World Health Organization, 1 out of every 3 women experience physical or sexual violence caused by their intimate partner.  This number is believed to be underestimated.  


The “What Were You Wearing” exhibit will run from Thursday, October 18 through the first week of November at Ohio University Lancaster.  The Exhibit will be open during Take Back the Night, a rally against gendered violence on Thursday, October 25 from 5:30-8pm. with additional open hours scheduled:


Thursday, October 25                    4:00-8:00 pm

Tuesday, October 30                    1:30-3:00 pm

Wednesday, October 31                 12:00-3:00 pm

Thursday, November 1                   1:30-4:30 pm

Thursday, November 6                   12:30-4:30 pm


Additional October & November Dates/Times to be scheduled or by appointment.