• S. Loesser

“Was ich anhatte…” exhibition about sexualised violence

"Did you resist?" "Did you clearly say no?" "What were you wearing?" Victims of rape are asked such questions again and again. Questions which imply a complicity in the crime and which place an additional burden on the victims.

Journalist Beatrix Wilmes – working for the WDR programme Frau tv (woman tv) – has taken up this view of sexualised crimes and dealt with it in the exhibition "Was ich anhatte ..." (What was I wearing?). The exhibition shows items of clothing that women have worn when they were raped. It becomes crystal clear: how a woman is dressed has nothing to do with the crime. They are everyday trousers, dresses, shoes and objects that every woman finds in her wardrobe.

On the occasion of International Women's Day on 8 March, Stadt Aachen’s Gleichstellungsbüro (Equal Opportunities Office) has brought the exhibition to Aachen. It will be on display from 1 to 11 March in Raststätte [a former store that no serves as an event location for cultural activities and events] at Lothringer Straße 23. Due to the pandemic, the exhibits will be displayed in the shop window. Descriptions of the items on display can be accessed via a QR code which is displayed on the exhibition posters. Information material is also available.

That this issue affects many women, is proven by figures from the World Health Organisation, for example.

"Every third woman in Germany is being affected by violence at least once in her life, every seventh woman by sexualised violence,"

says Loni Finken from the Gleichstellungsbüro,

"We want to make this topic visible for the public, especially now, in order to give those affected the courage to get help and support."

Image: © Stadt Aachen 2021

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