Safe Berks has developed several projects to raise public awareness of the toll that domestic violence and sexual assault has taken on our friends, loved ones, and the community.
The Safe Berks Silent Witness Project, modeled after the National Silent Witness Initiative, is a display of life-sized red silhouettes. Each figure represents a Berks County woman, man, or child who was a victim of domestic violence homicide, and the figure’s gold shield tells the story of their untimely death. To view images of the Silent Witnesses.
The Clothesline Project originated in Hyannis, Massachusetts in the fall of 1990. Since then, projects have sprung up all across the U.S. and in other countries. The display bears witness to survivors of violence against women; helps in the healing process for survivors and those who have lost a loved one to violence; and educates, documents, and raises public awareness about the extent of violence against women.
The Shoe Project for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) features real stories of survivors of sexual assault in Pennsylvania. Each story is attached to a shoe that looks like it could have belonged to the victim.
An Empty Place at the Table,© originally created by the Women’s Resource Center of Scranton, is a moving display consisting of place settings created for victims of domestic violence homicide by family members and friends. Most place settings contain personal possessions and mementos that belonged to the victim or family. The project is best displayed in a museum or gallery setting and must be attended by BWIC advocates when it is displayed.
Corazón Lastimado (Healing the Wounded Heart) is a display of wooden hearts decorated by survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. BWIC and Centro Hispano Daniel Torres collaborated to launch the project in 2013 with a display of advocate-created hearts. Corazón Lastimado was originally developed by the national advocacy organization Arte Sana. It offers a powerful visual testimony of the experiences of sexual assault survivors and victim advocates – from the initial rage and pain, to the condemnation of the re-victimization that many survivors experience, to the powerful impact of victim services, to the process of survival, healing, and redemption.
Each participant is provided a ten-inch wooden heart to personalize as they choose. Participants need not be professional artists, and are encouraged to use any medium (paint, fabric, decoupage, etc.) and express themselves freely in order to depict any aspect of the abuse or the healing process.
Participants can share as little or as much information about their heart with the public as they wish – they can use their name or initials, or they may remain completely anonymous. Each heart may have a title or short paragraph describing it for the viewer.
To request that any Safe Berks public awareness project be displayed in your location, contact Safe Berks at 610-373-1206 or Contact the Director of Education and Community Outreach for more information.