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People Ask 'What Did You Wear' When Women Were Sexually Assaulted. These Answers Have Gone Viral
What are your thoughts on this?
Cedric Jackson
12.02.17

These photos will change the way you look at the victims of sexual assault and prove that what a person wears doesn’t impact whether they are assaulted.

Katherine Cambareri was a senior at Arcadia University when she decided to do something truly innovative for her thesis project. Her project is called, “Well, What Were You Wearing?” and captures images of what victims were wearing while they were sexually assaulted.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

The goal of the project is to change the way we look at victims and stop those who choose to victim blame, particularly those who think a person deserves being assaulted because of how they dressed.

Cambareri explained the inspiration behind her project in detail on her photography website:

“By definition, sexual assault is any type of forced sexual contact or behavior that occurs without consent. The main question for victims is usually what they were wearing at the time of the attack. This really bothers me because sexual assault is an act of control and power has nothing to do with a person’s clothing. However, victims are often blamed for their assaults, with the misconception that they ‘provoke’ their attackers by wearing revealing outfits.”

With that inspiration in mind, Cambareri continued:

“I decided to document what victims wore at the time they were assaulted to show that there is no type of clothing that causes assaults to occur. There is no size. There is no body type.”

She went on to share this startling statistic: Every 107 seconds, a person in America will be sexually assaulted.

“Sexual assault never occurs because of what a person is wearing; the only reason sexual assault occurs is because a person assaults someone else.”

With the project clearly in mind, take a look at just some of the items Cambareri has photographed for her project.

There is a casual tank top with a floral print.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

A pair of sneakers that the victim had clearly worn numerous times before the assault.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

A plain white or gray T-shirt, like the kind for sale in numerous stores and worn by thousands across the country.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

A similar shirt in dark gray.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

A similarly casual long-sleeved blue T-shirt, also worn by numerous people who are never assaulted.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

A loose-fitting, casual tank top.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

Or this modest sleeveless item that could be either a shirt or a dress.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

The project also includes bottoms, such as these casual gray lounge pants with a drawstring.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

A pair of mildly distressed jeans.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

Another set of jeans.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

A pair of dark-wash pants.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

Even these short lounge shorts shouldn’t lead to victim blaming.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

There are even clothing items that fit every definition of modesty, such as this red sweater.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

Or this flannel shirt that was likely layered.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

Some of the more striking inclusions in the photo project are accessories, like this flowered necklace that appears youthful and innocent.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

The most eye-opening photograph in the series is likely this one.

Katherine Cambareri Photography
Source:
Katherine Cambareri Photography

Few people would expect to see a police badge in a collection titled “Well, What Were You Wearing?” It just goes to show that no matter what a person wears or does for a living, they can be a victim of sexual assault.

This project is ongoing.

Cambareri encourages people who want to participate to fill out the contact form on her website. Those who choose not to participate or have not been victims should still keep tabs on this project as it grows.

In the meantime, consider checking out some of Cambareri’s other work, which includes portraits, self-portraits, and still lifes.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Sources: Upworthy and Katherine Cambareri Photography

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By Cedric Jackson
hi@sbly.com
Cedric Jackson is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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