'What Were You Wearing?’ exhibition tackles sexual assault myth

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A powerful exhibition that tackles the myth that a victim’s clothing contributed to their sexual assault is coming to Fife.

What Were You Wearing? will exhibit recreations of what survivors wore during their assault alongside their testimonies.

The exhibition has been commissioned by the Fife Violence Against Woman Partnership, a collaborative partnership involving the NHS, Police Scotland, Fife Council’s education and social work services and the voluntary sector.

It highlights the question that is frequently asked of survivors, which puts blame on to the victim instead of the perpetrator. It will also aim to correct the misconception that the crime could have been prevented by the victim if they had worn different clothing.

What Were You Wearing? was created originally by Jen Brockman and Dr Mary Wyandt-Hiebert from the University of Arkansas. They were inspired by Dr Mary Simmerling’s poem What I Was Wearing, which describes her own experience of rape.

The exhibition has been seen around the world since first appearing in Arkansas in 2014, and will be at Fife College's Kirkcaldy campus on 4 and 5 October.  It'll move onto the Glenrothes Campus in November and will appear in Dunfermline and Levenmouth in early 2023.

Keri Duffy, learning and development officer at Fife Violence Against Women Partnership said: “This exhibition is a great way to reach not only students but the surrounding community to open up discussion about the damaging impact victim blaming has and how we aim to dismantle rape culture. We're proud to be a part of this movement through the exhibition."