About the Project
Sexual assault is a problem that plagues each and every university. Statistically speaking, 1 in 5 women experience rape or sexual assault during their four years as an undergraduate student. This number is potentially grossly underestimated, as many cases go unreported and this statistic does not include men who are sexually assaulted. As a united community, I believe that it is our duty to bring light to this issue and expose it for the evil that it is. The objective is to send the message that:
Survivors are not alone
What happened to them is not their fault
They are loved and seen
Oftentimes, survivors of sexual assault are asked what they were wearing at the time of the assault. This question is extremely inappropriate; clothing itself cannot "ask" for anything to happen. After all, what the perpetrator is looking for is not the clothing. It is what is underneath. Yet survivors are still asked this question as if their clothing could say "yes" even as their mouths say "no." How horrible would it be if a judge in a courtroom asked this question and thought certain clothing justified sexual assault and other clothing did not? No means no; clothing is irrelevant.
1 in 5
experience rape or sexual assault during their four years as an undergraduate student
Our vision is to bring awareness of sexual assault to college campuses and break the vicious cycle of victim-blaming. We plan to do this by bringing "What Was I Wearing?" exhibits to universities around West Michigan during April 2021, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Many universities have put on a "What Was I Wearing?" exhibit to illuminate that what a person was wearing does not justify sexual assault, nor does it put the blame on the survivor. The exhibit is comprised of recreated outfits that victims/survivors wore when they were assaulted to show that what was worn is not, in fact, the problem here. Next to the outfit is a short statement from the victim/survivor detailing anything they want to share about their story.
We want to bring this idea to as many campuses as we can. Victims are not at fault. Our vision is to recreate this exhibit on various campuses, highlighting students who have been sexually assaulted. This will, of course, be anonymous. We want to give survivors an opportunity to take back that power that was stolen from them by giving them a voice to speak up and be heard. It is not their fault!
We would like to give students the opportunity to tangibly help victims of human trafficking in our city by allowing them to donate to Sacred Beginnings' campaign to open a drop-in center.