WILMINGTON — A hard-hitting exhibit featuring clothing and testimonials of sexual assault survivors will be featured in April at the Meriam R. Hare Quaker Heritage Center at Wilmington College.
The presentation, titled “What Were You Wearing,” will open Wednesday, April 4 with a program from 7 to 9 p.m. featuring a time for viewing the exhibit during the first hour, followed at 8 p.m. by a student-led service in honor of survivors of sexual assault.
Sarah Martin, the College’s survivor advocate, said, too often, when persons speak out about rape or sexual assault, they are asked what they were wearing, which implies they invited those acts of violence based upon their attire.
“The purpose of this exhibit is to help break down the ideas behind rape culture and to educate and empower individuals,” Martin said. “Brave people from the community have graciously donated their clothes and stories to speak out against sexual assault — and make a change.”
The exhibit, which is open weekdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through the end of April, is sponsored by Wilmington College’ s We Care organization, a sexual assault and gender-based violence awareness program
We Care is funded through a grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in response to federal mandates that colleges and universities provide students with these types of resources in the event they are needed.
The funds cover the hiring of staff whose exclusive responsibilities deal with assisting those victims of what has become an all-too-frequest crime at colleges and universities across the nation. WC’s staff includes both a half-time Title IX assistant and full-time survivor advocate.
The grant also provides for special programming to raise awareness of sexual assault and the services available to survivors, including a hotline staffed by specially trained students.