"What Were You Wearing?" Art Installation

The Center for Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services and university partners are hosting a "What Were You Wearing?" art installation at Kent State. The exhibit is aimed at breaking down the myths and victim blaming belief that what someone wears encourages or asks for an assault. Victims of sexual violence are often asked this question by officials, peers, family and friends. Victims of sexual violence are never responsible for the harm done to them.  

Inspired by the poem “What I was wearing” by Mary Simmerling, Jen Brockman and Dr. Mary Wyandt-Hiebert installed the first “What Were You Wearing?” Exhibit at the University of Arkansas in 2014.  Since that time, campuses across the country have brought iterations of the exhibit to their communities.

SRVSS is continually collecting stories from Kent State community members of experiencing sexual assault and violence (regardless of when, where and by whom) as well as descriptions of what individuals were wearing when they were assaulted. Outfits will be recreated and displayed during the month of April as part of our Sexual Assault Awareness Month programming. All stories will be published anonymously.

For 2024 Display: Outfits will be displayed in April. Stories submitted prior to March 15th will be used for the display. 

WARNING: This exhibit can be emotionally triggering for people impacted by sexual assault. If you would like to speak with an advocate for support, please don't hesitate to reach out to SRVSS.

You may also reach out to:

- Counseling and Psychological Services at 330.672.2487
- Townhall II: 330.678.HELP
- Safer Futures 330.673.2500

Thank you to the following individuals and department for partnering with us.

  • Office of Gender Equity and Title IX
  • Fashion School Museum
  • Linda Hoeptner-Poling, School of Arts

Click to submit your story


Submissions for the 2024 display are now open.  Stories submitted by March 15, 2024 will be used for the 2024 display.  Thank you.

Submitting a story does not constitute reporting to the university and does not initiate the formal University complaint process.  If you do want to report the incident, or file a formal University complaint, you may contact the following:
- Office of Gender Equity and Title IX: titleix@kent.edu or 330.672.7535
- KSU Public Safety: 330.672.2212 (Non-emergency number)
- Local law enforcement

Kent State University will not publish the identity (by name or description) of any individuals in your story, including those described as causing harm. 

In submitting your story, you are giving Kent State University an unrestricted license and express permission to publish (both in print and electronic media) your story for its “What were you wearing?” installation and any future renditions. All stories will be published anonymously.