It’s an unfortunate reality, but sexual assaults happen on campus.
One in four female undergraduates in the U.S. reported they have been sexually assaulted, according to findings released by the Association of American Universities last month.
It was this that led Taylor Yocom, a 22-year old photography student from the University of Iowa to create the “Guarded” project.
Many women feel unsafe to walk home alone at night in fear of being attacked or sexually assaulted. During a class discussion about rape culture, Yocom and many of her female classmates pulled out their key chains, mace and rape whistles to share what they had to keep themselves safe at night.
“This was a powerful moment for me,” Yocom explained in her exhibit.
“We casually pulled out our rape whistles and mace to the shock of our male classmates, who said they never had to think about carrying such items.”
“Not only were these objects that were loaded with connotations on a keychain—something used daily — they also represented a discrepancy in vulnerability. These tools truly did show that we were “on guard” in so many aspects of our lives. I knew I wanted to represent this visually.”
An artist reception and discussion about Yocom’s work will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Criss Library.
For more information about Yocom’s exhibit, click here.