“I started at an early age at a Christian school, locally, and we were always taught that it was our responsibility as women to cover up and be modest, and if a man was to ever get aroused or turned on or be interested in us, it was our fault,” said Holtzclaw. “Eventually, I had gotten sexually assaulted. It was true when it happened. Everyone blamed me for it and told me it was my fault and that just led the way into this art piece.”
“I know I’m not the only girl in high school that’s been sexually assaulted and felt like it was my fault, so I wanted to get the word out there and tell people, ‘It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault,’” said Holtzclaw. “Things that need to be talked about shouldn’t be taboo, because people struggle and we need to talk about those kind of things that people struggle with.”
So, basically, the whole point of Holtzclaw’s piece was to break the taboo around discussing sexual assault and victim-blaming — a taboo which was then perfectly illustrated by the school district’s response to it. Come on, people. At least we can help ensure that Holtzclaw’s piece — and important message — gets an even wider audience on the interwebs.