I’m both an artist, and a survivor of sexual assault.
We have a broken system that all too often seems to value perpetrators over the people they have assaulted and harassed. I can say from experience that being sexually assaulted and not getting the appropriate support from law enforcement or the justice system feels extremely isolating. With the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder many survivors suffer from compounding it, they often feel that they are utterly alone.
It’s time to do what we can to fix that.
I’m creating a groundbreaking participation artwork to show survivors of sexual assault and harassment that they are not alone. With the help of 1,000 volunteer participants from all over the world, I’ll create a 6.25 feet tall and 10 feet wide embroidery panel with my kaleidoscope-type pattern in blues and purples and the words “You are not alone” embroidered in metallic teal in the center. Each participant will embroider a 3 inch square of the panel that they are assigned, and they will be joined together to create the final piece. No project like this has ever been undertaken before. Everyone who wants to tell survivors that they are not alone is invited to participate.
To further show survivors that they have support, there will be an additional panel of the same size with photographs of the participants in the location of the square they embroidered. In addition to being crowd-embroidered, this project will also be crowd-funded, and there will be a third panel listing the names of the contributors to the You Are Not Alone Project. These two panels will be displayed on either side of the embroidery artwork. If the project is overfunded enough, and the waitlist has enough prospective participants, it will be expanded to accommodate a total of 2,700 participants from all over the world.
The end result will be a piece that is a physical representation of love and support, and which will provide an emotional catharsis of sorts for survivors—both participants and viewers. It will hit home that, in reality, survivors are not alone; both in the troubling sense that many of us (especially women) have been sexually assaulted, and in the comforting sense that the survivor community is strong and provides a bond of understanding and support unlike any other community. I will work with non-profits that address sexual assault to help provide access to resources that can help with healing.
While it’s vitally important that we express support to survivors of sexual assault and harassment; to make this a better world, we all need to also work to make real change happen in our society.
To that end, the You Are Not Alone Project will also be a jumping-off point for a new social campaign, titled It’s Time for Change. Utilizing social media, working with non-profit organizations, and providing tools, hashtags, visibility, and simple steps each person can take, we will work to change the way our society deals with sexual assault and harassment. We will take the next step after #MeToo, and use the visibility of the groundbreaking You Are Not Alone Project to create the groundswell needed to enact real change.
From shirts to show support to survivors, to signs for businesses and non-profits, to participation art kits that can be used by any business or organization to engage their customers, members, and the public, we’ll be working to get the word out, connect people, and create change.
We will work for:
Better societal support for survivors of sexual assault and harassment.
More legal protections and justice for survivors and harsher punishment for perpetrators.
A reduction in the rates of sexual assault and harassment through education and stricter laws.
To make this social change happen, and to complete the You Are Not Alone Project, we need your help! Please become a promoter and help us get the word out.