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Should a victim’s dressing be part of a discourse on sexual assault?

A black skirt and a red sweater; cargo shorts and t-shirt; a striped sundress. The last one belonged to a six year-old.  

“What Were You Wearing: Survivor Art Installation” was a powerful exhibition that paired 18 outfits with stories from real sexual assault survivors about their experiences. Although hosted by an American university, many survivors of sexual assault can attest to being asked this very question regardless which part of the world they’re from.

Jen Brockman, the creator of the exhibit and the director of the University of Kansas’ Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center said that the aim was for students, or anyone, to walk into the show and to see themselves reflected in the outfits and put the blame where it belongs, which is on the person who’s caused the harm.

Have you ever been told that the way you dress could “invite trouble”? How did (or would) you react when or if someone said this to you?

Tell us what you think. We will publish the best comment on our page!


Author: Brenda Haas

Editor: Marjory Linardy



Here are the best comments


Linda Aldred No it should not ! If a woman decides to walk down a street bare assed naked this still does not give men the right to assault them….


Ghada Brahem sexual assault is BAD and it has nothing to do with dress, sexual assaults happen even in SAUDI ARABIA in wich women mostly covered, we have to change our way of perceiving things.


Pamela Ayers No, dress has nothing to do with consent. Unless someone wears a sign saying “I consent to sex with anyone-ask me for more details.”


Priscilla Dhakal Not at all. One has all the right to dress, walk, talk as it suits them. If anyone takes it as a basis for harassment then they have problems within themselves to be dealt with.


Obrian Ferns Most stupid reason. Parents should educate and open their eyes !!!


12.10.2017 | 15:26