Jaclyn Kidd Safety

Jaclyn Kidd, senior graphic design major, piloted the “Safety in Numbers” installment. 

This semester, bathrooms scattered throughout Missouri Southern’s campus become a part of the “Safety in Numbers” instillation, a project allowing students to anonymously share their experiences with sexual assault, harassment and rape.

The 12 locations across campus featured 24 mirrors students in both the women’s and men’s bathrooms could utilize to leave their mark.

Jaclyn Kidd, senior graphic design major and creator of the project, said each mark left on the mirror symbolizes a real person’s experiences with sexual violence.

“It’s a moment of reflection for them and to see that they’re not alone. It’s also an instillation about awareness,” said Kidd. “Ultimately people will be educated that this isn’t just a national issue, but a local issue.”

Responses to the project exceeded Kidd’s expectations. Several mirrors were filled within the first four days.

“I’ve never done something on this large of a scale,” Kidd said. “I’ve never done something where I interact with the community in this way and there’s a lot of heart in it.”

Kidd was happy to see such a “huge level of community” in the interactions. Not only would students leave their own mark, but many would respond to strangers’ marks to encourage and support their peers.

There were also marks that implied some people didn’t take the instillation seriously and left comments that were jokey or mocking in nature.

“Those are going to be left, because they represent a portion of the viewers that didn’t take it seriously,” said Kidd. “I’m proud to say that those marks were small in comparison to the real ones. Those marks were often challenged by other participants. There’s an accountability within the mirrors themselves.”

Kidd said while the women’s mirrors were filled the most, there were positive interactions in the men’s stalls as well– keeping in mind that they don’t have as much traffic.

“As soon as one man took the courage to make a serious mark, others would follow,” said Kidd. “They saw affirmation in that.”

Kidd’s passion is using her creativity to raise awareness for women’s issues and feminism.

“At a very young age I learned to walk with my keys between my fingers and that’s a part of life and that is how it is sometimes, and I was really connected to that," said Kidd. “Feminism gets a lot of backlash in the media, but for me, I don’t think that’s right. I think that we should be able to walk around and should be equal in the things we do.”

Kidd plans to use her degree to continue working as an ally for women’s issues and sexual assault awareness.

She hopes to work for a non-profit or women’s organization to use her graphic design skills for promotion and marketing.

“The majority of my work focuses on women’s issues, but I have a specific passion for sexual assault awareness because I’ve had so many friends and family members that have been affected by it,” said Kidd. “I really believe art can be used as a platform to educate and say something. It can be more than just what’s beautiful.”

The project has been up since February 18 and ended on March 5. It will go on display for public viewing at Spiva Gallery Monday, April 22 to Monday, April 29.

“Even if I present this to the public and they don’t view it the same way I do, that’s fine, because I think people who engage in the project had a positive experience,” said Kidd.

A public reception will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, April 26 in Spiva Gallery.

“I would like to say thank you to anyone that participated,” said Kidd. “I’ll probably never know you, but I hope it was a positive experience for you.

“I understand sharing you mark was hard and maybe it was the first time you’ve ever shared that. I want you to know I hear you and I hope the viewers of the exhibit hear you as well.”

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