Current BFA Photography student Grace Brown is using the power of words and images to help heal survivors of sexual abuse. Brown’s Project Unbreakable blog features images of men and women who have been sexually assaulted holding posters with quotes from their attackers, and the project has been getting a lot of media attention lately. Time recently ranked Project Unbreakable one of “30 Must-See Tumblr Blogs,” calling it a “shocking and sad look at sexual assault and how it affects their victims.”
After growing increasingly frustrated over the number of people she knew that had been sexually assaulted, Brown decided to create the blog as a platform for victims to share their stories and foster of community of supportive allies. “The attacker uses a lot of guilt and manipulation to either make the survivor think that it’s their fault or that they wanted it,” Brown told The Washington Post. “It’s also a common thread to see threats against the survivors if they don’t keep quiet.”
Since its launch in October 2011, Project Unbreakable has featured more than 100 photos of men and women. “It’s good for people who haven’t been victimized to see it and not make light of the issue,” Brown told The Toronto Star. “It’s not just something made up.” Since the project began, Brown discovered that sexual abuse is more common than most people realize. Each day, she receives dozens of emails with photographs and stories of survival. “You hear the statistics…but once you start realizing that a person you care about is another survivor, it turns your life upside down.”
In addition to Project Unbreakable, Brown is working on another photographic series called 50 Extraordinary Women, in which she plans to photograph 50 women who have inspired her. “This project traces my journey into womanhood,” she wrote about the project. “I want to be able to take a piece from each of these 50 women to mold myself into the woman I will become.”
Images from Project Unbreakable.