Ohio University

Survivor Centered Programs

Arts-Based Survivor Centered Programming

Please join us each fall semester at Ohio University as we use art to communicate the diversity of survivors' experiences. Events to date have included a viewing of The Monument Quilt that filled Peden Stadium (October 2017), the What Were You Wearing exhibit (available online through the link provided, and available to tour on regional and extension campuses following its Athens debut in August 2018). 

Embedded Video (Responsive).

365 Conversation: Creating Public Awareness to End Domestic Violence with DREA Kelly

October 24, 2019, 7:30PM, Baker Ballroom

Live-streamed at Chillicothe's Bennett Hall Auditorium, Lancaster's Brasee 411, and at Dublin's MEB1 242

Drea Kelly headhsot

The Domestic Violence Awareness Keynote is sponsored by the Women's Center, Black Student Cultural Programming Board, the Multicultural Center, Division of Student Affairs, Ebony Minds, Scripps College of Communication Diversity Committee, Senate Appropriations Commission, and the Student National Medical Association.

DREA Kelly’s 365 Conversation offers the course of a survivor’s journey to heal while highlighting learned behaviors from her abuser and herself, the warning signs and of the prevalence of a volatile relationship. The goal of the 365 Conversation on domestic violence is to start the conversation, not just through a hash tag on social media, but through a plan of action to eliminate abuse of all forms and violence from relationships and to eradicate sex trafficking. DREA Kelly’s healing words offers openness to receive and self-reflection.

Andrea “DREA” Kelly is a Midwestern native from the Southside of Chicago, IL.  DREA Kelly’s fame is largely attributed to VH1’s “Hollywood Exes,” where she was branded “the breakout star.”  Her story, as the Ex-wife of R&B superstar R. Kelly, reached beyond the television screens, leaving an audience of millions in love with the “brown ballerina.”

She is also well-known for being a choreographer, principle dancer, and the creative director for R.Kelly’s world tour performances, music videos and award show performances.  Some of her clients include Teddy Riley, Escape and Been One to name a few.  After leading the stage in these various positions, DREA also found vast success in operating her own dance theatre companies, AKDT and Le Belle Jete’ Cabaret.

DREA is not only a survivor of Domestic Violence, she is an advocate of domestic violence awareness.  In the spirit of this mission, she created the 12th Round Foundation, an organization that celebrates survivors of domestic violence and seeks to provide education so no one will become a victim and commemorate those who are lost to this tragedy.

“ I have CRACKS, but I’m not BROKEN ”-DREA Kelly

Identifying Rape Culture and How to Respond

November 21, 2019; Noon-1:30PM, Baker 230

This workshop will provide participants with the tools needed to identify comments, actions, and myths that uphold rape culture. Participants will leave having role played bystander intervention strategies to disrupt rape culture. It is offered annually and also by request. Please visit our page on workshops for more information on how to request this workshop: https://www.ohio.edu/womens-center/workshops.

Take Back the Night

Take Back the Night is an annual event to take back the night from sexual and domestic violence. Everyone, regardless of gender identity, is encouraged to participate in these series of events that focus on survivor experiences. This event occurs annually on the first Thursday in April. For more information, visit: https://www.ohio.edu/womens-center/take-back-night.

"What Were You Wearing?" Survivor Art Installation

The “What Were You Wearing?” Survivor Art Installation originated at the University of Arkansas in 2013. Created by Jen Brockman and Dr. Mary Wyandt-Hiebert, the project was inspired by Dr. Mary Simmerling’s poem, What I Was Wearing. Using descriptions of clothing that was worn when survivors were sexually assaulted, organizers find clothing that closely mirrors those descriptions. The descriptions and the clothing are then displayed as a challenge to the notion that what people are wearing causes sexual violence. This exhibit includes 41 personal experiences of students, community members, and more, that were provided to organizers at the Ohio University Athens campus. Ohio University Athens sponsors of the exhibit include the Women's Center, Survivor Advocacy Program, Campus Involvement Center, the College of Fine Arts and University Galleries, Intersectional Feminist Alliance, Student Senate, and Ambassadors to the Survivor Advocacy Program.

This exhibit also travels to regional and extension campuses, and has thus far been viewed at Ohio University Cleveland, Eastern, and Lancaster. You may view the exhibit at Ohio University Southern from September 6, 2019-October 4, 2019. 

To request a visit to a regional or extension campus, please email womenscenter@ohio.edu. To view the exhibit online, please visit: https://ohiotoday.org/fall-2018/what-were-you-wearing/

For information about the origins of the exhibit nationally, and to find out how to have your own installation, please visit: https://sapec.ku.edu/what-were-you-wearing

Through the Survivors' Lens

Through the Survivors’ Lens provides a compelling, visual means for provoking thought and reflection within the University community much like the Monument Quilt did in Fall 2017, and the What Were You Wearing Exhibit in Fall 2018. Fifty-two photographs are presented, from twenty survivors. Some photographs reflect childhood trauma, sexual violence in college and domestic violence in long-term marital relationships. Everyone can experience the exhibit in different ways. Braille is provided, as is audio recordings, with item descriptions of the photographs.

Through the Survivors' Lens supported by the Women's Center, Survivor Advocacy Program, Health Promotion, Counseling and Psychological Services, the College of Fine Arts and University Galleries, Office of Instructional Innovation, Ohio University Libraries, Better Bystanders, Ambassadors to the Survivor Advocacy Program, and the Student National Medical Association. 

This exhibit was originally shown at Ohio University Athens in Fall 2019. To request a visit to a regional or extension campus, please email womenscenter@ohio.edu.

Interpersonal Power Based Violence Prevention


Throughout the year, staff at the Women's Center works with colleagues, students, and community members on issues of sexual violence prevention. In addition to annual programming listed above, we strive to incorporate sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking violence prevention into many of our programs, including: film showings that deal with sexual violence in a multitude of ways (such as the documentary The Trials of Spring which showed how sexual violence is used to silence women as political dissenters, or Pens to Pictures' short film on incest and sexual abuse entitled The Devastating Game), and presentations that help us understand sexual violence and/or prevention efforts (such as Identifying Rape Culture and How to Respond, Emily Yates' presentation on disability, or The Handmaid's Tale). We also work to provide programs that improve self-confidence and leadership in women as part of a broader culture change about women's roles in society. In short, we host a number of events that address sexual violence and are created to support survivors. We encourage you to attend events throughout the year, listed on our calendar page, in addition to joining us for Take Back the Night. It is all of our responsibilities to end sexual violence, every day of the year. If you want to get involved in programming, or would like information about receiving an exemption from mandatory reporting, please visit the Presidential Advisory Council to End Sexual Misconduct website. Many of our large scale events include collaborations with the Campus Involvement Center, the Survivor Advocacy Program, and Counseling and Psychological Services. Please connect with them for other ways to get involved and/or for support!

Women's Center staff is required by law to report cases of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and domestic violence to the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance. This applies to all of our events as well, unless it is specifically noted that an event or program has received a mandatory reporting exemption. Information about reporting is available through the ECRC website. They also provide information about confidential resources.