Using Art to Heal from Sexual Assault

By , 19, Staff Writer
April 10, 2012

In October 2011, Grace Brown, a student at New York School of Visual Arts, started a project she calls “Project Unbreakable,” a photo blog that shows sexual abuse and assault victims holding up signs of quotes from their abusers and attackers.

Looking through the blog, which is hosted on Tumblr, and seeing the photos of survivors with the words of their abusers, is powerful. Some of the posts are photographs by Grace; others are photographs by survivors who submitted them. Some posts show the faces of the survivors, while others do not. Some contain merely the quote on a piece of paper, while others have more of the story in a caption.

Yvonne Moss—an activist, survivor of rape and one of the first participants in the project—described the project as “a way for victims to take the power back of the words that were once used against them.” Brown has taken a significant step toward giving the survivors of sexual abuse and assault a voice.

Brown does not claim that her blog is a source for advice or counseling and refers readers to the RAINN assault hotline. The project just begins the conversation about sexual abuse and assault. And it starts the healing process for the many victims who have submitted photos and responded to the project, indicating that Grace’s title, “Project Unbreakable: the beginning of healing through art” is proving to be accurate.

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