A powerful window exhibit has been set up in downtown Red Deer to address victim blaming. In recognition of Family Violence Prevention Month, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) has set up What I Was Wearing When It Happened, a reflection exhibit along Ross Street.
The purpose of the exhibit is to bring awareness to the issue of victim blaming and the stigma surrounding individual’s clothing as the reason they were sexually assaulted.
The window exhibit features powerful statements paired with various types of clothing victims were wearing at the time they were assaulted. This is meant to be a real-life representation, a visual way to bring awareness around the still existing stigma.
This is the third year for the reflection exhibit. CASASC has hosted the exhibit previously on International Women’s Day. In 2018, the exhibit was hosted at Parkland Mall featuring over 300 pairs of shoes, each representing an Alberta woman who was missing or murdered. The shoe exhibit encouraged people to reflect on the lives of those women.
In 2019, CASASC partnered with the Students’ Association of Red Deer Polytechnic (S.A.) and two third-year BScN students of RDP for a similar exhibit featuring live mannequins. The exhibit was thought-provoking and interactive.
This year the exhibit is on display as a partnership between CASASC, the John Howard Society of Red Deer and the Central Alberta Community Legal Clinic.
What I Was Wearing When It Happened will be on display until November 30. Viewers can easily peruse the window display from the sidewalk.