“The mission of Project Unbreakable is to increase awareness of the issues surrounding sexual assault and encourage the act of healing through art. Since the project’s conception in October 2011, it has featured over two thousand images of sexual assault survivors holding posters with quotes from their attackers.”

Knowing firsthand that breaking the silence of secrets is a tremendously important part of healing, I wholeheartedly applaud this wonderful project. While I abhor the fact that such projects are needed, I am in awe of those who share and those who provide these places. I hope to one day be able to do such helping work.

Much like the stories presented on Violence Unsilenced, these images destroy me and break my heart, but yet are so often so filled with hope. I encourage you to browse through the images submitted by these incredibly strong and courageous people.

Violence Unsilenced – They Spoke Out

One of my very favorite people is someone I have never actually met, I know her only as Maggie. Maggie does something wonderful though, she organizes a brilliant web site called Violence Unsilenced, a place for “shedding light on the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault by giving its survivors a voice.”

Of course my very favorite person is my Gina – who shared her own experiences and Spoke Out on VU in October of 2009. I can never really express how proud I am of her for doing that, or how much I admire her strength and courage. She is a superhero in every sense of the word.

Violence Unsilenced is filled with strong people – men and women – who take the little chunk of the Internet that Maggie provides and fill it with their stories. Heartbreaking stories. Painful stories. But they are their stories, in their own voice, a voice no longer silenced.

As VU celebrates its second year, Maggie assembled a video compilation to recognize the folks who spoke out. Like the one from last year, it made me cry – sad tears to acknowledge the atrocities that folks face in their lives – but also jubilant tears for seeing the strength in those that participated – a strength that comes from sharing their stories.

I haven’t yet had the courage to share my story, in fact have only recently acknowledged to myself that there is a story. I can feel my voice stirring inside me though. I’ve always thanked Maggie for helping give Gina her voice – I think I can now come out and thank her for helping me find my own as well.

Please support Violence Unsilenced by sharing it with your friends, supporting those who share with your comments, or by speaking out with your own story.