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Survivor Stories

This is place to share your stories of survival and how you’ve moved forward in your life. These are strictly curated and must be anonymous. Many were left by visitors to the installation in 2013 in the Rochester Public Library in downtown Rochester, NY.

To contribute a story please use the email link at the bottom of the page. Your email address will never be shared or in any way distributed.

Now that “Survivors of Sexual Assault” has a voice here, I would like to be the first to comment as a survivor. Our life’s destination is a sanctuary – that sacred place assigned for an eternity of peace of mind.  The intention of my installation and short documentary, “Survivors of Sexual Assault”, is to empower survivors to feel peace, know that they are not alone and most importantly to realize that there is hope to heal.

This work is in honor of all survivors.

Scan 11-2

This represents fighting back, but being lost. You just try to maintain who you are and fight in a way that brings less pain to you. It’s the sudden realization that what’s happening is wrong and scary, but you try to retain your humor, your innocence, your toddler age, but you can’t.

Scan 11-2

When I was a teenager, I had a wall in my bedroom that had several posters of hands in black and white.  I can’t remember where I even got them from but they had a special meaning to me back then.  I also wrote a poem about hands:

 

Extensions

Wall of photos
Black and white close-ups
Just hands … no two pairs alike

Soul extensions
Captured in kodachrome
Stroking, supporting, creating…

Dimpled, plump, baby fat
Smooth, sensuous, manicured
Gnarled, crooked, twisted

Soul extensions
Covering shame and guilt
Striking, violating, mutilating…

Wall of photos
Black and white close-ups
Just hands … my hands

Writing of extremities

 

Scan 11-3 Scan 11 Scan 12-2 Scan 12

Scan 16