How does a victim of sexual assault deal with the unspeakable grief? By talking about it, of course, to a trusted confidant or counselor. By cooperating with the police and prosecutors to restore to herself (and occasionally himself) a sense of control over the everyday events of life. Recently, several Alabama women have turned to art.
We can see the product of their work at the Ferguson Art Gallery on the campus of the University of Alabama, in the form of about 40 wooden hearts decorated to portray and express the pain and healing they’ve experienced. Here’s an article about the display in The Crimson White.
Here’s a portion of the article:
An anonymous survivor, who wrote that her husband abused her when she was 30, created a piece titled “Leaving Me to See”. The heart was covered with broken mirrors, a pair of panties and some derogatory words describing her abuse. In her message was a description of how it felt to be abused and still forced to look at the bruises every day.
An artist who was six years old the first time she was abused by her grandfather lamented the loss of her childhood in her heart “Stolen Pieces of Child’s Life”.
“The result of him stealing those pieces of my life has sent me on a search to fill the voids with anything available,” she wrote.
The exhibit runs through April 29.