Art Approaches to Sexual Violence Prevention and Education
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV)
In The Arts lists some creative arts initiatives that include sexual violence prevention or education components. We welcome suggestions of other arts initiatives.
- Advocate Web (a U.S. non profit) has an area of Poetry and Artwork described as a "place to share poetic and artistic expressions of the heart, not only of the pain, but of the struggles, and victories in overcoming abuse.... The poetry and art shared here is from a variety of sources and is not necessarily authored by someone who has been sexually exploited." The area focuses on issues of sexual exploitation or abuse.
- Arte Sana describes itself as a "nonprofit agency for underserved survivors of gender and racial violence that promotes healing and empowerment through the arts and community education." Website in English and Spanish. See Virtual Gallery of visual, literary, performing, and decorative arts created by advocates of arts empowerment and healing. Arte Sana's site describes: "Whether they are survivors themselves or simply championing the purpose, they are sharing their stories while healing their souls."
- Hightrance.com - Marta Sanchez's Poetry and Art "Marta Sanchez is a self-taught visual artist and poet, who was born and raised in the Republic of Panama. She uses her creativity to address the issue of sexual violence. She is a sexual assault survivor and her art is a means of breaking the silence and healing wounds that no one can see. Her goal is to raise awareness and, hopefully, prevent sexual violence from happening to others. By depicting feelings that resulted from her experience, she offers comfort to those who are still silent so they will not feel as isolated. 'The Angel Series,' part of her current works on display, addresses the way society views survivors of sexual assault."
- Interactive Theatre.org has the primary purpose of "Using drama to educate on sexual assault". This website encourages activists to use "theatre as a means to open discussion and engage people who would normally zone out....to challenge personal and societal beliefs by creating three-dimensional characters that can't be ignored or tuned out like videos." The website provides resources specifically for and about interactive theatre in sexual assault education, as well as supporting information for educators and other adaptable materials and pieces.
- A Long Walk Home "uses the arts to document trauma and community violence. We uniquely blend art therapy and social documentary to facilitate healing and global change." Programs include SOARS, EXHALE, SNAPSHOTS, and INITIATIONS.
- Points With Purpose is a project by artist David Ilan, who uses a technique called pointillism, associating each dot in his drawing with a real person who has been raped or sexually abused. "Every person involved will have a dot drawn to honor them. Up close we see individuals with a story. From far we see a woman who has overcome and grown."
- SHaKTI PRODUCTIONS describes that it "produces and uses videos to advocate for an end to violence against women." Its purpose is to "document women's lives and struggles within and outside the US, use art as advocacy to confront public and private violence against women, and challenge the power hierarchies between image-makers and the 'imaged'".
- The Survivor Art Gallery (of Abuse and Trauma) has a website that displays art "created by survivors of abuse, rape, or other trauma. It reflects the inner turmoil of shattered lives and psyches. Some of the images may be disturbing, while some may seem too abstract to interpret, but all come from a deeper level of the human soul than most of use are comfortable seeing...."
- Weeping Blood; Violence Against Black Women And Girls is an art exhibit by Reanae McNeal, who has among her many talents, a speciality in the Griotess storytelling of the African/African-American tradition. The website displays a few examples from a multi-dimensional, interactive exhibit that explores "the horrific impact of the physical, emotional, spiritural, and psychic violence perpetrated against Black women and girls." by using sculpture, quilting, masks, metal work, beads, paintings and wood design. The art pieces were to be "observed to the sound of Reanae's performance art poetry, songs, prayers, childhood chants, and African instruments. This exhibit will draw each observer into the deep and complex world of Black women and girls who suffer at the hands of intolerable violence." The exhibit is dedicated to Girl X, the nine year old Black girl from the Cabrini Green Housing Project in Chicago, Illinois who was brutally beaten, raped, made to drink gasoline, and left for dead - but she survived. "Her survival is a testimony to the endurance of Black women and girls all over the world."
- WITNESS is a non-profit organization using video cameras, computers, imaging and editing software, satellite phones and email in the struggle for justice. WITNESS describes its two main goals as:  "strengthening grassroots advocacy by making video and technology tools available to human rights defenders so they can fight for human rights,  mobilizing public concern and activism so that human rights issues move to the center of political debate." See clips from the 12/01 documentary, Operation Fine Girl on personal experiences of "child combatants and abducted survivors of sexual violence in Sierra Leone".
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