Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits

THE CHILD ABUSE SURVIVOR MONUMENT
PROJECT AS SOCIAL ACTION

 

 

  Employing the Healing Power of Art
Visit the Meditation Gallery
The Wounds of Child Abuse
Providing Healing
A Supportive Community
Communicating Difficult Material With Art
Transformation Through Projective Identification

 

 

The Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project is a community social action project. It recognizes the adversity which those victimized by child abuse have survived and validates their heroic resilience to the abuse they suffered.

The Project has a goal of having a positive impact in helping the larger society to move through the shock and wounds of child abuse. Individuals and society change through the transformative and healing power of art.

Employing the Healing Power of Art
Survivors are the ones most affected by abuse, and are the ones who have the stories and truth gained from direct experience.

The Project has sought the primary contribution of child abuse survivors because of a belief that the true power and value of the work in transforming society can be greatly assisted through the empowerment of those who have been most directly wounded. As one survivor/artist commented,

The workshops reaffirmed the power of every survivor in the forms of courage, creativity, compassion and friendship found in our quilt squares. It is a substance that the abuse did not quell. The monument and all it stands for is a healing place. It is a place to rework personal trauma into a totally hopeful outcome.

The Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project brings together professional artists and a unique community of survivor/artists to employ the power of art to unite and transform people.

 


CHAINS THAT BIND
LIES THAT BLIND
A LIFE OF STRUGGLE
TO SET ME FREE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I SEE
I DREAM
I HOPE
Gintes

 

 

 

 

Freedom

Freedom lost
innocence broken
dark holes linger past
empty dreams
forgotten hope

In change
pain travels through
finger tips
touch hurts
in the struggle

life began
in the dark somewhere
tiny sparkles of light
reaching
a lost hope

Climbing past
dark holes
finding lost dreams
tiny fingers of innocence
a gentle touch

light moves me slowly
forward to a child
stars in her eyes
reaching for me
old freedom found.

D.

Original wax sculpture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Little Girl

The little girl all alone,
Alone with her secrets,
Scared to speak or even feel.
She only sees the emptiness
That surrounds her heart,
And the secret she wishes
to be able to speak.

"Please Love me!"

But now she sees a hand,
A hand of the future,
One full of caring laughter,
And love.
It's her hand, and she
is Not Alone!

L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



How can I help you ?

I sit here in wonderment
At the stories people tell.
Of their sad and lonely voyage
Through their own private hell.

I try to share their feelings
Of the battles they have known.
But someone on the outside
Can't feel it in their bones.

All I truly have to offer
Is one sympathetic ear.
I trust it will be helpful
As they overcome their fear.

I will try to be here for them,
Try to help them on their way.
May I always show compassion
‘Til they find their freedom day.

Wallace Clint'

 

 

 

 

 

Visit the

Quilt Square
Meditation Pools

 

 


My father was abused and I
wasn't. The cycle stopped.
The dawn of a new generation,
The dawn of new hope.
Let tommorow's sun set
on an era of peace.
Zachary

 

 

 

 

Goodbye

Touching my hand
Wondering Why?
The Beast didn’t kill us, we all survived
The past month we said Hello
To our pain deep inside
Scared to share and tell and bring our truth Outside
To our Rainbow and Clouds in the sky we did fly
With our guardian Angel to help us tell not to hide still inside
Our tears are overflowing as we try to say Goodbye
To our Monument we’ve kept so close to our side
Its tears are full of Sadness, Pain, Loss,
Hopelessness and even hate for the Beast
Who caused all these tears of misery pain
Our square we’re so proud of what we did to tell and share
We’ll take it deepest inside of us with all we hold so dear
Touching my hand, saying Goodbye
no longer do I need to wonder why.

Gloria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Personal and Social Wound
The community of survivors and the larger society is wounded by the legacy of childhood abuse. There is the obvious wound of the silent walking injured who carry the personal burden of child abuse as they move through society. Also there is the shock and vicarious trauma that society suffers as a result of learning about so many children being tragically betrayed and abused.

 

 

Everyone Knows a Victim of Abuse
Child abuse has been swept aside as nobody’s business or “their” problem; in particular the sexual abuse of children has been historically hidden. In a very short period of time it has come out into the open and its malignancy reaches further than anyone could have imagined.

Society at large is grappling with the social trauma of discovering that friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and societal heroes have been victims and perpetrators of child abuse and child sexual abuse.

Everyone knows someone who was abused. It is a shadow that is unavoidable in the network of relationships. Individuals and society desire and need healing from this shared wound of abuse.

 

 

Need for an Informed Perspective
Most people hear only peripheral comments about someone having been abused or are confronted over and over again with the stories of abuse presented through the media.

There is generally a lack of in-depth understanding surrounding the context or issues of abuse — just the news of one more victim. Survivors, as part of recovery, often read books and talk with a knowledgeable professional helper. They may even participate in a supportive group.

These experiences provide processing of the trauma and provide understanding of the larger face of abuse and perspective on its impact on society.  The general public however is repeatedly confronted with reports of child abuse without the benefit of an informed perspective.

 

 

Denial and Distancing are Symptoms of Shock
For society, the lack of understanding of abuse issues creates a need for distancing from and denial of the concerns and realities of survivors of abuse.

The persistent presence in the media of organized denial movements, sometimes led by individuals who also promote pedophilia, is a symptom of the unresolved societal conflict surrounding child abuse. To move beyond the denial stage of shock, the community at large needs help with confronting the tragic reality.

Child abuse exists, and society needs to come to terms with its issues. There needs to be an understanding of the impact of child abuse on society as a whole. We have come to understand that the long term shadow of child abuse casts a dark influence on many forms of later adult social problems and expressions of violence.

Individuals and society need a social response for healing of the legacy of child abuse. As was seen with the impact of the Vietnam War Memorial, memorials, in telling the story, have the power to effect a large scale influence on society.

 

 

Providing a Healing Symbol
The Monument is a restorative icon for both personal and social healing. A quilt square artist claims,

“ I feel by making a Monument to heal, that child abuse can no longer be hidden — be secret. And those who still keep it secret will be freed by those who have participated in this Monument. And those who know nothing about abusing children will help us stop it. And those who are child abusers will be forced to stop — in time.”

The Monument provides a symbol and message for those who have been overwhelmed directly or vicariously by the tragedy of child abuse. It must also make inroads into those who are at risk of hurting children. As Jerry asserts,

“I want the Monument Project to make others aware of the effects of sexual abuse. To support other men to recognize the places [inside] where they are hurt and behave badly as a result of it.”

 

 

Dissolving Debilitating Shame
Survivors of childhood abuse form a community because of the shared adversities, which have molded their perceptions and relationships to the world around them. Unfortunately, the halter of shame and, all too often, the muzzle of threats have kept survivors hidden and in a vacuum of alienation. A loss of personal power and a vulnerability to revictimization are unfortunate consequences of child abuse.

The Monument and the process of creating it through supportive workshops give an empowered voice to the previous silence of abuse. One survivor relates,

“I feel the workshop is a vindication for me. By participating I am saying publicly, ‘It happened to me’. It has given me a voice. I have always had a voice except in my family. This voice that I have been given by the workshops is bigger than the silence in my family.”

Turning around the qualities of victimization are important elements to breaking the cycle of violence for individuals and society.

Having an impact on society and other survivors is a goal of participation for many involved in creating the Monument. Another quilt square artist affirmed,

“If my participation and quilt can help one person only, I will be very happy and satisfied.”

Survivor participation in the Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project quilt square workshops assists those who have been abused to heal from the tragedy they have endured.

Healing comes from expression and “the telling” and very importantly healing comes from the altruistic act of making a difference for others. Derek commented,

“Doing something for child abuse was very rewarding; giving something back that is good replaces the bad for a moment.”

Involvement in the art and writing workshops and in the Project’s development and activities helps to remove personal and social shame and isolation for survivors.

There is the sense that the benefit will be carried on. Derek further said,

“I feel a lot stronger being able to express my feelings on child abuse. It brought out the goodness inside myself that I always knew I had. It has definitely affected my way of thinking. I always know, two weeks after I leave, the workshop will be there to express my thoughts and be able to be something good to replace the horrible crime committed long ago.”

The social action and proactive nature of participation in the overall project helps to move a sense of social disenfranchisement and vulnerability into a new reality of empowerment.

 

 

A Supportive Community

In working committees, and in sculpting and writing workshops, the Project has been a richly supportive community. In addition to the agenda of the practical work of developing such an enormous project, meetings and the Child Abuse Awareness Advisory Forum have explored personal and societal concerns related to dealing with child abuse.

The art workshops were designed so that there was much support and collaboration in the art sessions. Survivor/ artists frequently paired up with each other for phone support and meetings to sculpt and share over the weeks between sculpting sessions. One survivor/artist related,

“The sense of ‘belonging’ within the ‘Project’ is enormous. I have never felt so accepted and true to myself.”

Beyond the regular sculpting sessions, the sculpting studio in Toronto was open during the week for people to drop by to sculpt or get assistance with their quilt square. For workshops away from Toronto various forms of support networks were developed with the participating survivor/artists.


My Desire:
That the people on this Monument
Always be seen as Courageous
Pioneers in the Successful struggle
To end child abuse

Wallace Clint

 

 

Communicating Difficult
Material With Art

Child abuse and child sexual abuse is difficult to talk about. The years of secrecy surrounding most survivors’ abuse experiences mean that it is not internally processed with verbal language. The experience and pain of abuse is even difficult to conceptually comprehend. The expression of the issues and concerns surrounding child abuse can, however, be very effectively processed and communicated through art.

It is also difficult for the general society to accept, acknowledge and comprehend child abuse, particularly to the degree in which it is being reported. There is a great need to come to terms with this tragedy.

Artistic expression in the public domain is likely going to be integral in assisting the community at large to come to terms with the abuse of children and move beyond this malignancy. Society can take advantage of the cross-cultural and historical phenomena of groups of people healing and transforming through the creative acts of art.

 

 

Transformation Through Projective Identification
Projective identification is the act of placing your thoughts and emotions in something outside yourself.

The creative expressive nature of the Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project quilts and educational exhibitions provides a valuable means for understanding and assisting with the necessary transformation.

The creative work of artists provides a vessel within which individuals in the group place their conflicts. This "projective identification" allows the observer of art to participate in the transformative properties of the deep expressive process of survivor/artists.

It is this personal and social healing power of art that the Child Abuse Survivor Monument Project offers individuals and a society struggling to come to terms with child abuse.

"Follow Site Web Ring"
GO TO:
"REACHING OUT" A HEALING MONUMENT
 


No child abuse.
Peace Love
Luke, age 9

 

 

 


REACH OUT
Heal the path.
Your pain is Society's
Shame. .
Touch the Rainbow.

 

 

 

 


All people should be
free from abuse,
like a bird free
from a cage.
Hanna, age 9

 

 

 


We can help too.
Kids helping kids.
Stop the abuse!
A kids hand helping
to stop another kid
from hurting.

 

 

 


Don’t abuse your kids.
Stop and give a hand.
Kids have feelings.
Don’t because kids are
humans.

 

 


REACHING OUT
Against child abuse.
Cynthia

 

 

 


No more
childabuse.
Francisco

 

 

 


It abuses children's
rights!
I hate it!
Zachary, age 11

 

 

 


Everyone has the right
to smile all the time.
Be good to your
children.
Remember they are
the best link to the
future and will be
there in the
end for their children.
Help.
I want my children
to say Hi to their great
grandchildren.

 

 

 


Mike it possible.
Help us stop
the hooror.
REACH OUT
for yourself.
Kat

 

 

 


We must all help
to stop child abuse!
Karen

 

 

 


REACHING OUT
Against Child Abuse.
Allison

 

 

Let your
HandPrint
join others in the
MONUMENT

 

 


Plant the seeds.
Stop Child Abuse.
Edith

 

 

 

 


REACHING OUT
Against Child Abuse
Stop the Abuse
Jenna

 

 

 


Lend out a hand and
let's stop the abuse!!
Ashley

 

 

 


Thaks for giving us
a hand.
Latifa.

 

 

 


!!!!
Every one of us
can make a difference.
!!!!
We will make it better.
Jacquie

 

 

 


Together we are
stronger than alone.
Bruce, age 5

 

 


Love Respect
Happy Content
Help stop the Pain!
Children deserve to be
happy not hurt.
Lisa

 

 

 


Let us help the
youth to heal.
Robert

- How to Donate
- Home
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*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)


Your Donations are Needed
to Bring the Child Abuse Monument Home from the Foundry

* Donations *
* Story of the Monument/Phases of the Project * Phase 1: Design * Phase II: Create * Phase III: Implement * Phase IV:Positioning *
* Monument Overview * Monument Project Organization * Project Story - Flash Movie *
* A Healing Monument * Monument as Social Action * A Gift for Allies in Healing *
* Artistic Director: Michael C. Irving, Ph.D. * Assisting Sculptors * Studio Visits *
* Monument Conception/Creation * Monument Sculpting * Casting the Bronze *
* Quilt Square Workshop Participants *
Heroes of the Monument * Facing Challenges * Monument Lessons * Monument Stories
* Self Care Activities for Survivors * Well Being * Creating Coping Lists * Meditation Gallery *
* Information on Child Abuse
* Types of Abuse * Impacts of Abuse * Responses to Abuse *
* Resource Links on Child Abuse *
* Survivor Monument Poetry and Quilt Square Books *
* Awareness Campaign * Research Forum * Cambridge Tour * DAS School *
*
Contribute a HandPrint Message for Placement Inside the Child Abuse Monument *
* Sponsorship as Healing * Sponsors * Local Sponsors * Sponsorship Opportunities *
* Unveiling *


*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2004)