What Were They Wearing?
Virtual Art Exhibit
Our voices. Our stories. Our Pasts. Our futures.
Telling our stories is the most important work we can do.
Our stories heal our hearts and help protect others. Victims become survivors and then victors when we share our stories with the world.
This exhibit is our opportunity to share the story inside of those who have been affected by sexual or domestic violence.
The submission to the right are varying forms of artistic expression that tell each person's story and the journey they are on.
Thank you for visiting.
And to our artists, thank you for sharing.
You are brave. You are loved. You are valued. You are victorious.
Every time we ask, "What were they wearing?"
when a person comes forward to tell their assault story, we are blaming the victim.
Sexual assault is never the fault of the abused.
In honor of victims of sexual assault, and
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM2020),
Brighter Tomorrows is inviting you to join in on a journey of myth-busting around the issue of rape culture and victims blaming.
Each day, we share with you a new visual, a story of one person's "What Were They Wearing" and then "What Did They Take", items that victims of violence took with them when they fleed their abuser. These virtual representations give you a glimpse of the moment in time that changed their lives forever.
Katie was wearing: Blue pajamas
“I wasn’t feeling well and he came over to take care of me. I trusted him and he raped me.”
Nicole was wearing: A swimsuit
“We had been canoeing all day. It had been a really fun time. Then they came into my tent while I was trying to change clothes.”
Fatima was wearing: A sari.
“The same thing I wear most days. It reminded me of home, my family, of my identity. Now it reminds me of him”
Anonymous male wearing: Lifeguard uniform
“She said, guys can’t be raped.
She didn’t stop.”
When Gigi left, she left her husband with only her two children, 2 and 4, and a car.
“I knew it was time to leave when I saw how it was impacting my kids.”
When David left, he left his partner of 26 years with the backpack he brought to work each day.
“I knew if I didn’t leave, he was going to kill me.”
Barb returned home from the hospital to find all her things burning on the front lawn.
“I lost everything but my life.”
Marie left her partner of 15 with the dog and all she could pack in her car.
“My world revolved around her...I lost myself to her every demand.”
Lacie left with the clothes on her back and picture of her parents.
“I couldn’t live with the abuse anymore. I was a prisoner in our house.”
Andy went out with friends and returned home to find a suitcase and note on the front porch.
“The note said ‘You don’t live here anymore. You have been replaced with someone better!’ “
When Jackie fled her abuser, she left with her purse, car and her two-year-old daughter.
When I saw my daughter was receiving the same type of abuse that I was, we left.
An unnamed adult victim of child sexual abuse used to wear: Cotton dresses.
“My stepfather would sometimes molest me after school until my mom came home from work.”
Natalie was wearing: Army Combat Uniform
“I was in my ACU's and I was carrying a gun. So much for that preventing anything.”
Nathan was wearing: sportswear.
“It was always the same outfit. It was always after rec center league.
My mom trusted him.”