‘Clothes that get you raped!’ A hard-hitting exhibition shows that clothes don’t provoke rapists

This thought-provoking exhibition titled 'What were you wearing', in Brussels, aims to prove that a person's outfit can never and should never be considered a form of provocation for a 'rapist' and also to end the culture of victim blaming.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 17, 2018 6:52:31 pm

what were you wearing exhibition, Brussels exhibition on rape survivors, what rape survivors wore exhibition, myths around sexual assault, sexual harassment, exhibition breaking myths, Brussels sexual harassment exhibition, Indian express, Indian express news Trying to break the common notion of victim blaming, an exhibition in Brussels recreated outfits of victims when the incident took place. (Source: Reuters)

It’s unfortunate but true — victim blaming is a common aftermath of sexual harassment or assault. And more often than not, people question what the victim was wearing, intentionally/unintentionally holding the survivor responsible for the act. Trying to break the same pervasive myths around rape culture an exhibition in the Molenbeek district of Brussels has recreated outfits of rape survivors to show how clothes play no role in provoking a sexual assault.

Titled What were you wearing, the exhibition – which will run till January 20 – has recreated and displayed 18 outfits that the victims wore when the incident took place. Some of the clothes that were showcased were a child’s dress, a man’s jeans and T-shirt, tracksuit bottoms and a police uniform; and each piece was displayed along with the harrowing tale that took place when the person was wearing them.

The descriptions were submitted by survivors from Kansas. Most of the outfits are daily wear clothes and that is exactly what the exhibition aims to highlight — to let visitors see and relate to the fact that the survivors wore nothing unusual or provoking.

what were you wearing exhibition, Brussels exhibition on rape survivors, what rape survivors wore exhibition, myths around sexual assault, sexual harassment, exhibition breaking myths, Brussels sexual harassment exhibition, Indian express, Indian express news Around 18 outfits were displayed in the exhibition along with the incident of sexual assault that took place while the person was wearing them. (Source: BBC News/Facebook)
what were you wearing exhibition, Brussels exhibition on rape survivors, what rape survivors wore exhibition, myths around sexual assault, sexual harassment, exhibition breaking myths, Brussels sexual harassment exhibition, Indian express, Indian express news Most of the outfits on are daily wear clothes and that is exactly what the exhibition aims to highlight. (Source: BBC News/Facebook)
what were you wearing exhibition, Brussels exhibition on rape survivors, what rape survivors wore exhibition, myths around sexual assault, sexual harassment, exhibition breaking myths, Brussels sexual harassment exhibition, Indian express, Indian express news The exhibition is thought-provokingly titled What were you wearing. (Source: BBC News/Facebook)

Organised by the the prevention service of Molenbeek, the exhibition has been organised and opened to “create a tangible response to one of our most pervasive rape culture myths” because “the belief that clothing or what someone what wearing ’causes’ rape is extremely damaging for survivors,” according to a Reuters report.

what were you wearing exhibition, Brussels exhibition on rape survivors, what rape survivors wore exhibition, myths around sexual assault, sexual harassment, exhibition breaking myths, Brussels sexual harassment exhibition, Indian express, Indian express news A woman watches male clothes at the exhibition “What Were You Wearing?” that showcases the stories of U.S. student rape victims through representations of the outfits they wore during their assault, in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, Belgium. (Source: Reuters)
what were you wearing exhibition, Brussels exhibition on rape survivors, what rape survivors wore exhibition, myths around sexual assault, sexual harassment, exhibition breaking myths, Brussels sexual harassment exhibition, Indian express, Indian express news The exhibition aims to highlight that clothes have nothing to do with the assault. (Source: Reuters)
what were you wearing exhibition, Brussels exhibition on rape survivors, what rape survivors wore exhibition, myths around sexual assault, sexual harassment, exhibition breaking myths, Brussels sexual harassment exhibition, Indian express, Indian express news Organised by the the prevention service of Molenbeek, the exhibition has been organised and opened to “create a tangible response to one of our most pervasive rape culture myths”. (Source: Reuters)
what were you wearing exhibition, Brussels exhibition on rape survivors, what rape survivors wore exhibition, myths around sexual assault, sexual harassment, exhibition breaking myths, Brussels sexual harassment exhibition, Indian express, Indian express news The description of these were submitted by survivors from Kansas, who shared what they were wearing when they experienced sexual violence. (Source: Reuters)

The exhibition aims to prove that a person’s outfit can never and should never be considered a form of provocation for a ‘rapist’ and also to end the culture of victim blaming.

Watch a video on the exhibition here:

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