Uncategorized | March 6, 2019

What Were You Wearing?

A question that really never needs to be asked and yet is frequently asked of survivors of sexual assault: What were you wearing? As if the clothing worn had anything to do with the assault.

The fact is, your clothing choice has nothing to do with sexual assault. No particular article of clothing is ever “asking for it.” The fault of the crime is solely and always on the perpetrator.

Yet somehow as a society we’ve trained ourselves to think that clothing matters in this instance. We’re here to tell you it does not matter. We have worked with people who have worn any type of clothing you can imagine — school uniform, jeans and T-shirt, swimsuit, military uniforms, sweat pants, pajamas, dresses, etc. Clothing has absolutely nothing to do with sexual assault.

Sexual assault is a crime based in power and control — one person believing they have the right to have power and control over another person. One person believing they do not need consent to touch, kiss or penetrate another person’s body. Sexual assault is not about lust or desire.

This April, as we recognize the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the WCA will be working hard to help our community understand the reality of sexual assault. Sexual assault happens to people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, gender identities, ages, religions, economic standings and social standings. Sexual assault can happen to anyone and typically it is perpetrated by someone you know.

This April we want to share the stories of all survivors. By sharing these stories we can help our community better understand the reality of sexual violence and break down commonly-believed myths. Please join us for our exhibit in April, and if you feel compelled, please share your story to be part of the exhibit.