“What Were You Wearing” display at the Washington Public Library
If you’ve wondered why business fronts in downtown Washington have been covered in teal paint, it has been in promotion of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) which is based out of the University of Iowa, has been generating awareness. The Washington Public Library currently has a display called “What Were You Wearing” which will be on display for the rest of April. The display shows replicas of what sexual assault victims wore at the time of their assault, and written backstories. RVAP advocate Deanna Hansen explains the display’s purpose, “Because victims are usually asked, ‘What were you wearing?’ we have this stereotype in our heads that victims are always dressed in a really short skirt or in a really tight dress. We’re trying to break that stereotype and show people that it really doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, you can unfortunately still be assaulted.”
RVAP is also using clothing to tell victims’ stories this Saturday, as they will be displaying t-shirts in the Washington town square from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hansen talks about the clothesline project, “We have shirts that victims of sexual assault, domestic assault, really any crime can come and create a shirt that talks about their experience or people who support survivors can create a shirt whatever it may be to show support to survivors.”
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