Sunday 25 August 2019

Clothes worn by rape victims to go on display as part of nationwide protest and exhibition

Exhibition: Leona O’Callaghan. Photo: Press 22
Exhibition: Leona O’Callaghan. Photo: Press 22

David Raleigh

Clothes worn by survivors of rape at the time of their attacks are to go on display as part of a nationwide protest exhibition.

The 'Not Consent' exhibit is to be held in Limerick on January 17, as part of a campaign by abuse survivors to highlight sexual crimes.

The 'Not Consent' exhibition is being organised by rape survivors Leona O'Callaghan, from Limerick, and Shaneda Daly, from Shannon, Co Clare, as well as Ruth Maxwell.

Ms Maxwell was attacked and seriously injured by a man wielding a knife, whom it later transpired had attacked and sexually assaulted other women.

Both Ms O'Callaghan, who was raped as a child by Patrick 'Whacker' O'Dea (51), of Pike Avenue, Limerick, and Ms Daly, who was raped by her former prison officer father Harry Daly, waived their anonymity so their rapists could be named publicly.

Last month the 'Not Consent' exhibition, which included a Holy Communion dress, was launched and held in Dublin in response to a rape trial in which a defence barrister referred to a thong that had been worn by the complainant.

The exhibition, which will be held at the Limerick Health Hub on Rutland Street, Limerick, will feature clothes worn by men and women who were either sexually assaulted or raped. "It attempts to exhibit the insignificance of clothing during rape trials. Our message is clothes do not cause rape, rapists cause rape," explained Ms O'Callaghan.

The exhibition will coincide with the launch of the Limerick-based support group, Survivor Support Anonymous (SSA), which is the brainchild of Ms O'Callaghan. "SSA provides a safe place where those affected by abuse can learn to heal and recover from their trauma through the 12 steps of recovery," she added.

Irish Independent

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