Artwork created by survivors of sexual abuse will be exhibited in Coventry

Artwork created by survivors of sexual violence in Coventry will be on display next week.

The Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Center (CRASAC) will host the exhibition to mark 40 years of supporting victims and survivors of sexual abuse across the city.

A group of survivors took part in workshops led by Arty Folks, a charity that runs art classes for wellbeing. The work will be featured in an exhibition at the Artspace Arcadia gallery in Coventry.

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It will highlight their voices and focus on their journey to recovery.

Sharon Walters is one of the survivors who attended the workshops and said how much it helped her well-being.

She said, “These workshops have been very important to me. It was the first time that my mind was able to focus on something else and I had the opportunity to express myself publicly in my own personal way.

“I enjoyed being part of a group where everyone had a relatable experience. It was an opportunity to let go of my anxiety and have fun.”

Martyn Hale, director of care and support at the Citizen Local Fund, which funded the project, said: “Providing support and working with those who help people who have experienced violence escape its grip is dear to me.

“We work with partners who provide services on our behalf to people fleeing domestic violence as well as housing for refugees, so it seemed natural to get involved in a project like this.

“Supporting an exhibition like this means we are making a small difference and supporting those who have a hidden story to tell through expression. Art is a fantastic way to do that and it will be inspiring to see the exhibition and the artworks so vividly depict the experiences of the artists.

“Anything a person can use to tell their story, be it art, writing or poetry, should be celebrated. Often, telling a person’s story is part of their recovery and coming to terms with what happened to them. I have to visit the exhibition soon and it will be fantastic to see the works of art that have been produced.

CRASAC is a registered charity and rape crisis center which provides specialist counselling, advocacy and emotional support to anyone who has been affected by rape or sexual violence at any time during their life. life.

CRASAC Executive Director Natalie Thompson added: “We are delighted that Citizen was able to support this project. For over 40 years, CRASAC has provided victims and survivors of sexual abuse with a place to feel safe, heard and believed – enabling them to survive and thrive in life.

“Through a series of art workshops and individual contributions, we have enabled a group of survivors to find their voices and validate their experiences. The exhibition will represent a snapshot of the hopes, frustrations and determination experienced by the hundreds of victims and survivors we support every year.

Visit the exhibition at the Artspace Arcadia gallery in Coventry from March 7-11 between 10am and 2pm.

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