Penn State Hosts “What Were you Wearing?” Event

Story posted April 13, 2022 in News, CommRadio by Anna Adams

“What Were you Wearing?” was an event hosted by the gender equity center that was geared toward bringing awareness to sexual assault victims, and a question that is too often overlooked. 

Many survivors get asked the question, “what were you wearing” when speaking about the incident. 

This question makes the victims feel that it was their fault and that they were to blame. Many people put the blame on the survivors and view sexual assault as being provoked by the victims’ behaviors, or how they dressed. 

This event helps society to understand the seriousness and importance of sexual violence. 

Hope Steger, a second-year, majoring in political science and criminology, mentioned that the main point of this event was to bring awareness to sexual violence.

“I think this event is extremely important because it’s a way to kind of visualize that victim-blaming is extremely unnecessary and you can be dressed in absolutely anything,” Steger said.

This exhibit displayed all of the different clothes people were wearing when assaulted to show that victims can really be dressed in anything and still get all of the blame. 

The clothing ranged from a bathrobe, to pajamas, to going-out clothes. The variety of clothing displayed showed that victims can truly wear anything and still get assaulted. 

Sophia Mills, the program coordinator and member of the gender equity center, stated that awareness needs to be brought to how society asks the questions to victims.

“People might say things like: how much did you drink, what were you wearing, you were asking for it, all of these things that we hear pretty commonly in our society, this event is supposed to combat those to raise awareness that it doesn’t matter what you were wearing,'' Mills said. 

It showed each person’s individual story associated with how they were dressed when they were assaulted. 

This event was geared toward showing society that it does not matter how someone dresses and that sexual assault needs to be taken more seriously.

Anna Adams is a third-year majoring in Biobehavioral Health.  To contact her, email aca5394@psu.edu