“What Were You Wearing?”

Allison Hamilton, Guest Contributor • aphamilton16@ehc.edu

As a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Emory & Henry Inclusion & Dialogue Center has partnered with the Sociology department to create an art installation about sexual assault victims and their stories. The installation is survivor-centered and depicts the different types of clothing victims were wearing when they were sexually assaulted.

President Jake Schrum started the event’s opening night reception by stating facts about sexual assault in the United States and by sharing what this time means to him as someone who knew a victim of sexual assault.

The purpose of the exhibit is to show people that it’s not about the clothes the victims were wearing. Instead it makes people question why they are conditioned to ask “What were you wearing?”

Project Coordinator for the E&H CARES program Alana Simmons worked alongside several students to help bring this installment to the Emory & Henry campus.

Simmons said, “I hope the event will get people talking about what they’ve seen here and about how we respond to people who are coming to tell us these very vulnerable things.”

At the exhibit, Simmons explained that there are several different resources students can take advantage of at this installment. These include pamphlets about dealing sexual assault, a journal for students to write in that will remain at the exhibit until it’s over, and on hand counsellors from the Powell Resource Center. “We want students to know that this campus cares,” Simmons said. “I think there are a lot of schools that would be afraid to do this because they’d be afraid of what people would say. But [E&H] is ready to have these conversations.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault there are several places at Emory & Henry where you can go to report it.

There are two different types of reporters on campus: confidential reporters, people students can talk to who are not required by law to report to the Title IX coordinator, and responsible employees, people who are required by law to report information to the Title IX coordinator.

Confidential reporters on campus include counselors in the PRC, chaplains in spiritual life, the pastor of the church on campus and Director of Health Services Susan Stanley. All other Emory & Henry College employees, including Resident Advisors, are required to report any offenses students report to them.

The What Were You Wearing? Installation runs through April 16 and is open to the campus community and the general public. The installation is located in the Denham Poetry Collection Area of Kelly Library. Students will also be giving out teal ribbons in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month throughout April.

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