This Tuesday, the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center welcomed “Traveling Postcards,” a national project that aims to increase awareness and support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
The initiative is part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it was started as a way of encouraging community members to send hundred of handmade postcards made with love, compassion, and sentiments of solidarity to victims of sexual and domestic violence.
The project was created eight years ago when Caroline Lovell, the Founding Director of the Women’s Wisdom Initiative, realized that she could use art to empower individuals going through trauma.
Lovell said that she chose postcards on purpose; to her, the postcards offer a wealth of possibilities for creativity and growth.
“Art is a way to heal,” she says.
Lovell began “Traveling Postcards” in 2009 with the hopes of letting domestic violence and rape victims know that “they are not alone.” An artist herself, Lovell knows the potential of creativity to bring support to those who need it.
“Art is a safe container to be vulnerable and to share wisdom,” she says.
With “Traveling Postcards,” Lovell hopes to create a platform for people to express themselves in a safe place while providing the resources to send these sentiments to someone who has gone through gender-based violence. One of the program’s goals is to allow people to forge a personal connection with someone who has endured such a traumatic event.
“The issue is so overwhelming to so many people that they feel like it just doesn’t concern them or that they couldn’t affect change anyways, but everybody can make a handmade piece of art the size of a post card and make a really big difference,” Lovell explains.
Unfortunately, the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault are often extremely stigmatized. However, statistics show that 1 in 4 college women say that they have experience unwanted sexual advances during their time at college – a real statistic that the creator of Traveling Postcards wants to disappear.
Ultimately, the impact of the workshop is not only felt by the recipients of cards but also by the artist themselves. Lovell says that participants leave with “an understanding of their core selves.” The workshop isn’t about artistic ability Lovell explains; it’s about “sending a piece of ourselves out into the world.”
“We all have a voice,” she says. “And we can all make a difference.”
To learn more about the Women’s Wisdom Initiative visit http://womenswisdominitiative.org
To learn more about sexual assualt statistics visit http://www.oneinfourusa.org/statistics.php