Art & Art History
Sexual Violence; Communication
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My honors project is both a secondary research study and an artistic visual representation of the impacts sexual violence has on an individual’s social behavioral patterns and interpersonal communication capabilities. I entered into this project with an interest in exploring this relationship after witnessing the impacts of such violence in the lives of people around me. I hoped to gain a deeper understanding of why sexual violence affects social behaviors in victims. It has been my intent to utilize the platform of my project to bring to light underrepresented facts about such violence. Furthermore, I hope this project provides a learning opportunity for people who may one day find themselves in the position of having to be a support system for others.
As I dove deeper into my searches, I realized how limiting of an effect the perspective of my lived experiences had on my research. For this project to bear the weight of the subject at hand, I had to consider the intersectionality of sexual violence and how it affects different people in different ways. Over the course of this project, I have done my best to be sensitive to the particularities of how sexual violence can impact the lives of victims of different demographics. I have sought out the difficult balance of presenting work that does not shy away from the harsh and ugly realities of sexual violence, while also remaining sensitive to the continuing healing that survivors are working towards.
This project is meant to make viewers feel discomfort, it is meant to draw out questions on the realities of the facts that have been imbedded into this artwork. More than anything, it has been my intention to create a space that encourages a dialogue about sexual violence. If change is ever to be created, knowing the statistics is not enough. It is important for people to have the ability to speak on how sexual violence implicates social and interpersonal behaviors, as well as why. Societal and cultural implications create the environment that allows this violence to occur at such high rates. My research has opened my eyes to hard truths about sexual violence and the far-reaching impacts it has on victims. Yet where there is dark, so too is there light, and I have concluded that healing and growth are possible with the help of strong support systems and the passage of time.