Campus gallery exhibit examines perceptions of sexual assaults

“What Were You Wearing,” an art exhibit showing clothing and accessories recreated from the stories of survivors of sexual assault, will be on display in the Schwalbach Art Gallery on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County campus from April 4-15. The exhibition, offering a powerful reminder of the effects of assumptions made about sexual assault survivors, is viewable by the public when the campus is open.  

A partnership with Hope House in Baraboo, and a national campaign as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the “What Were You Wearing” exhibit displays clothing and accessories beside the first-person accounts from survivors that pair with them, to remind viewers that there is no justification for any sexual assault, and that no survivor is responsible for their attack.  

“We hope that seeing these simple clothes that anyone could recognize and relate to, alongside the stories from survivors, helps everyone have some clarity, and understand how our biases can, usually inadvertently, make us subtly blame victims for their assault,” said Student Life Coordinator Jason Schulte, who coordinated the exhibit along with his colleagues in the campus’ Student Services office. “That’s not the case, and that’s not okay.”