NOT AN INVITATION: Clothes (or the lack of) are not an excuse to sexually assault

Sexual Assault survivors are often plagued with victim shaming questions like "What were you wearing that could have caused the incident?" "How much did you have to drink?" "Why were you out alone?"

No answers to these questions should make a victim responsible. People often find fault in the victim's actions prior to the assault instead of finding fault in the rapist for raping.

No matter what an individual is wearing or where they are, explicit consent is needed for sex or else it is rape. 

This photo project is meant to show that no matter what you are wearing or where you are, explicit consent is needed to have sex or else it is rape. If women walked down the street naked and drunk that doesn't mean they are consenting to have sex with anyone. I put out an open request in a couple of groups on social media to see who would be willing to be photographed for this. 

Five of the six women pictured have been sexually assaulted or raped. The only one who hadn't been attacked, I sought out and asked personally if she would be a part of this project. Either most of the people I associate myself with just happen to be sexual assault victims or this is a bigger problem than I ever could have imagined. 

The women portrayed below are photographed in various locations doing many of the activities women often victim-shamed for everyday.

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It never matters what a woman is wearing, how she’s dancing, how much she’s drinking, etc. You should always ask permission before initiating any physical contact with anyone. Regardless of gender. The only exception I can see to this is an established pattern of physical contact, say a friend that likes hugs and you both always hug, or cuddling with your significant other because it’s habitual. Anything sexual should always be asked for. What I’m wearing is for me, not for anyone else.
— Chelsea VanOmum
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I am the most bothered most by people who say the woman is lying, crazy, just wants attention, that she asked for it because of her flirtatious behavior or sexy clothing, or that she should have done something to keep it from happening.

It absolutely does not matter what anyone is wearing when they are assaulted! If you are going by that illogical view, then everyone at a public swimming pool or beach should be raped, including the elderly and children.
— Cecily Thurber
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It seems as though women are equally guilty of sexualizing and judging each other for what they wear. I cannot tell you what I was wearing every time I was sexually assaulted or raped. I can tell you it has always been implied or directly spoken that it was my own fault.
— Rachel Williams
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While people experience love, desire, and do sexualize the people around them in addition to us sexualizing ourselves, men seem to have this magical boundary that largely (I know this isn’t true for all men) protects them and leaves them respected instead of at risk for assault.

Our bodies are our homes, the only temple we will ever get, and clothing is a way to express the way our heart beats, our mind thinks and our body feels the rhythm of life around us. It should be sacred and we should be the god of our temple. No one else should be able to or want to have that kind of control, even though time and time again that has been shown to be untrue.
— Kat Storment
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No one should ever have to deal with being objectified or assaulted. Women are human. This type of behavior should not be passed off as normal. I was never sexually assaulted until I identified as a woman. That was a harsh reality I was not prepared for.
— Lynnz Duvall
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Women have to be careful about where they are going, what time of day and what they are wearing. That is not fair. Men do not have to worry about this like we do.
— Norah

No matter what a person is or isn't wearing, how much they have had to drink, which race they are, what their sexual orientation is, whether they are male, female or both, no one deserves to be assaulted or objectified. 

Wearing little to no clothes at home or in public is not an invitation for sex. Clothes (or the lack of) are not consent!