Survivors speak gives voice to sexually violated listen05/01/09 Andrea Lypka
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Holly is a 16-year-old sexual violence survivor who attended the Survivors Speak event organized by Family Service Centers in Clearwater on April 30.
Her piece of art is about her story and the healing process. Her artwork is a denim globe with the word “me” on the top and the words family, friends and love on the bottom. She has been sexually assaulted twice by the same perpetrator: a 47-year-old family member. She was 6-years-old when the first assault happened and she was assaulted again last year.
With the help of her family, friends and the Family Service Center she is able to heal and focus on her dream to become a medical doctor.
Lisa Signorelli, a licensed clinical social worker and USF field instructor is looking at the exhibited artwork. Some of the artists are her patients. She said everybody can be a victim of sexual assault and art can be a healing tool for some of the survivors.
The president and CEO of Family Service Centers is Mary Jo Monahan. She said their services range from education and raising awareness in the community, prevention of sexual violence to counseling and advocacy for the victims. Monahan said the agency is treating annually 400 sexually abused children, 600 adults and many of their family members. The loss of income and foreclosures contribute to the increasing domestic violence, she said.
The Survivors Speak event was organized by the Family Service Centers, Florida Craftsmen and Juvenile Welfare Board.
The eight annual Survivors Speak event organized by Family Service Centers exhibited stories in artwork of survivors of sexual violence at Juvenile Welfare Board Children’s Services Council in Clearwater.
The monthlong exhibition “Wear Your Voice” theme is art on denim.