A Platform For Rape Survivors: Project Unbreakable

by Tess Duncan

UMass students Kaelyn Siverksy and Grace Brown are  giving rape survivors a voice with Project Unbreakable. Victims write quotes or stories that involve their assault on white posterboard. Project Unbreakable posts photos of these participants holding their poster to the blog. People involved in the program are survivors of various types of attacks and choose a vast array of words to include on their board. Some display threats or insults from their rapist while others opt for victim-blaming responses from close friends and family. While some might argue that revealing the words from the victim’s attacker or ignorant friend silences the survivor, co-founders of the Project Unbreakable see it differently. The photograph holds a power that other forms of rape awareness do not. “You can easily forget a statistic that someone rattled off to you, but it’s hard to forget the look on someone’s face as they hold their attacker’s words,” says Brown.

It also raises the awareness of the many different forms of rape and assault, as victims reveal that their abusers were relatives, boyfriends, or friends. As we all know, it’s a depressingly common belief that only strangers rape people in dark alleyways in the middle of the night. Le sigh.

Siversky and Brown began this blog to ensure survivors got the help that best suits them. For example, group therapy is often encouraged but not the right choice for everyone. “For a lot of sexual assault survivors a group setting is not the best place to start it. That was my biggest concern; I needed to get myself private help. It wasn’t available as much as I wish it had been.” Siversky explained. Brown added, “It’s important that survivors have access to everything they need — counselors, support groups, and most of all, valid and correct information about their rights, if the assault happened on a college campus. As for the perpetrators — I think more needs to be done when it comes to mandatory presentations about sexual assault.”

You can submit your own photo to Project Unbreakable and check out more photos from Project Unbreakable on their blog.

Source: Huffington Post

Photos via Project Unbreakable

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