This Photographer Is Shedding Light On Sexual Assault Victims in the Most Powerful Way

“Well, what were you wearing?” is a response all too familiar for many survivors of sexual assault.

One photography major is answering this common question by showcasing haunting portraits of what female students were wearing when they were sexually assaulted.

Katherine Cambareri, a student at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, decided to challenge the misconception that a victim is at fault for being sexually assaulted if she is wearing provocative clothing.

Cambareri said she reached out to numerous survivors of sexual assault on Facebook and asked them if they could share their stories. She then asked if she could photograph the clothes they were wearing when they were assaulted.

"I feel like I have a special connection with each of the volunteers because by participating, they're trusting me with the fact that they have been sexually assaulted," Cambareri said in an interview.

"They're trusting me to use their clothing in a positive way. Everyone that's participated so far has been an acquaintance of mine and that goes to show what a large problem this is. As a person, it makes me realize that so much needs to be done in terms of prevention; we need to stop stereotyping and surrounding sexual assault with so many stigmas."

View the moving photos in the gallery above.

Need help? In the U.S., visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated by RAINN. For more resources, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's website.

NEXT: What We Still Get Wrong About College Sexual Assault »

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Photo Credit: Katherine Cambareri