The Arcadia University student, who is majoring in photography, was inspired to dismantle the victim-blaming attitude behind the question “What were you wearing” after reading Jon Krakauer’s book, Missoula.
Stories about college rape and horrifying community attitudes towards victims compelled Katherine to explore the issue in her thesis project.
Speaking to Daily Mail, Katherine said the book “opened her eyes” to the injustices that victims face after they are assaulted.
View the gallery of Katherine Cambareri’s work below. (Post continues…)
“The book really opened my eyes to victim-blaming and the questions that survivors of sexual assault are asked, such as, “What were you wearing?” which are asked to protect the perpetrator rather than the victim,” she said.
While her project currently only features women’s clothes, Katherine says its unprecedented traction around the world means she will continue exploring the issue, hopefully with male participants.
“Only females volunteered, but I plan on continuing this project and I would love for males to participate as well,’ she says. ‘This project began with five participants, but like I said, I plan on continuing this project and hope to get more people involved.”
Katherine’s aim? To disarm people, and make them reevaluate their own preconceived notions about victims of rape.
A new advertisement has been released in Australia attempting to tackle violent attitudes towards women. (Post continues after video…)
“I really, really hope to make people uncomfortable looking at these images – I want people to think about victim-blaming and how asking “What were you wearing?,” is not a valid question because victims never “ask” to be assaulted,’ she told the publication.
“Sexual assault occurs because a person decided to assault another person, and for no other reason. A person’s choice of clothing is never a reason to sexually assault someone, and the stereotype that victims are always wearing revealing clothing at the time of their assault is not true.'”
Ideally, Katherine’s work will make the viewer “trade places” with the victim.
“I hope that viewers are able to trade places and imagine themselves wearing the items of clothing I’ve photographed. It is important for people to gain new perspectives to end stigmas and break stereotypes.”
If you or a loved one has been a victim of physical or sexual assault, Mamamia urges you to contact 1800 RESPECT or visit this website.
For more of Katherine’s work, visit her website.