What Were You Wearing? Survivor Art Installation for 2022 Summer Art Walk

By Hays Chamber on June 8, 2022

Options Domestic & Sexual Violence Services hosts annual What Were You Wearing? Survivor Art Installation at the Hays Arts Council 2022 Summer Art Walk
Hays, KS – June 8, 2022
During the Hays Arts Council’s Summer Art Walk, Options Domestic & Sexual Violence Services will host an art installation titled “What Were You Wearing?” to bring awareness about sexual assault to Northwest Kansas.
What Were You Wearing? was inspired by a poem by Dr. Mary Simmerling titled “What I Was Wearing”. The goals of the art installation, which displays over 50 outfits, are to bust the myth that provocative clothing is the cause of sexual assault, a stereotype often used for victim blaming; and to bring a measure of comfort to other survivors by showing that the choices they made in their clothing did not cause their sexual assault.
The What Were You Wearing? Art Installation will be on display during the Hays Arts Council’s Summer art Walk on Friday, June 17th, at Downing-Nelson Oil Company (111 W 10th St, Hays). Exhibit is open from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Downing-Nelson Oil Company and the many community members who volunteered their time and talents to bring the art exhibit to life,” said Jennifer Hecker, Executive Director of Options. “And to give a voice to victims who have been silenced by victim blaming.”
The art exhibit is sponsored by the Wonder Women Leage, an affinity group of the United Way of Ellis County, who provided funding support and donating items to expand and enhance the art installation. Volunteers from Eagle Radio made audio recordings of each story which viewers can listen to during the event by scanning a QR code. Volunteers from the Wonder Women League and Options Staff will be available to guide viewers through the event and assist with the QR codes.
This event contains sensitive and potentially triggering material. Sexual abuse, sexual violence, rape, and personal trauma are all mentioned within this exhibition. Options will have advocates available if anyone would like to speak privately.
If you or someone you know needs help because of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, contact Options 24-hours a day, 7 days a week FREE. You can reach an Advocate via helpline at 800-794-4624; text HOPE to 847411; Live Chat at help4abuse.org; or download the "My Mobile Options" app from the App Store or Google Play. You always have Options.