From a two-year-old’s sequined t-shirt to hospital scrubs, an exhibition in Bangkok of garments worn by women and girls once they had been sexually assaulted seeks to shine a light-weight on the sufferer blaming that usually accompanies such circumstances in Thailand.
The show is the brainchild of mannequin and TV host Cindy Bishop, who launched a social media marketing campaign earlier this 12 months after a Thai official urged ladies cowl as much as keep away from assault on the fashionable Songkran water pageant.
The hashtag #DontTellMeHowToDress went viral as ladies in Thailand took to social media to share their tales of being groped and harassed throughout Songkran in earlier years.
“I picked these things from greater than 50 units of clothes of victims, to indicate a variety of ages and kinds of sexual violence, and perpetrators,” Bishop informed the Thomson Reuters Basis on Friday.
“It was a really emotional expertise, however I wished to indicate that girls are to not blame – it doesn’t matter what they’re sporting.”
The exhibition options greater than a dozen outfits worn by victims once they had been assaulted by neighbors, pals, household and employers, from the shorts and sequined T-shirt of a two-year-old to an extended “sack” gown, and hospital scrubs.
Curated by Girls and Males Progressive Motion Basis, a rights group, it additionally contains images that deal with the stigma round feminine sexuality and a wall of myths and misconceptions about sexual violence.
Almost 60 p.c of girls stated they had been groped throughout Songkran, the annual pageant that marks the Thai New Yr, in response to a survey by the Girls and Males Progressive Motion Basis.
Solely a small quantity reported these incidents to police.
Bishop stated she was assaulted by a bunch of males throughout Songkran when she was a teenage lady greater than 20 years in the past.
She was impressed by an set up final 12 months on the College of Kansas titled “What had been you sporting?” to maintain the dialog going.
The previous 12 months has been pivotal for girls’s rights after accusations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein sparked the #MeToo marketing campaign, with ladies taking to social media and the streets to spotlight experiences of abuse.
That marketing campaign did not make a lot of a mark in Thailand, however months earlier than, a pupil created a stir when she wrote a Fb publish about being assaulted by one other pupil.
Thararat Panya stated she didn’t report her attacker to the police as a result of the method is advanced, and since the police are unsympathetic and judgmental, typically blaming the sufferer.
“It’s a huge downside, however nobody talks about it,” she stated. “I wished to encourage different victims of sexual abuse to talk out with out disgrace or guilt.”
In Thailand, practically 90 p.c of rape circumstances go unreported to police, and rape is typically legitimized based mostly on a girl’s previous sexual historical past, in response to a examine revealed final 12 months by U.N. Women.
“This isn’t going to be solved with a social media marketing campaign and an exhibit,” stated Bishop. “However persons are extra prepared to speak about it now.”