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NEWS | Oct. 14, 2015

“What Were You Wearing?”

By Ruby Godley Sexual Assault Response Coordinator

Recently, a tweet on social media gained national attention after a user asked her followers to share their personal stories of sexual assault.

"What were you wearing when you were assaulted?" Followers began replying en masse with permission to retweet. Tweets varied in response but all shed light on who is affected by sexual assault. These survivors were victimized as family members, children, working women, students and friends.

"First time 19 - long jean skirt and a white blouse with flowers. Second time 28 - sweats  w/ a fever of 102."

"Office work clothes. Collared shirt, cardigan, pencil skirt with tights, flats."
"Pink princess pajamas. I was 6."

This article caused a surge in victim blaming across blogs and the social media universe.
Victim blaming occurs when a person is held completely or partially responsible for the acts that have been perpetrated against them.

Too often we see victims being held responsible for violent, traumatic acts." If she hadn't worn that short skirt ... if he hadn't gotten so drunk ... if they weren't walking alone at night this wouldn't have happened." 

Who is really to blame though? Shouldn't the person who committed these awful crimes be held responsible? Shouldn't we punish those who perpetrate these crimes and hold them accountable for their actions?

Not a single one of these brave survivors was at fault for what happened to them. The blame lies solely with those who hurt them.

Victim blaming is not ok. It is never a victims fault.