By Meg Minkley
Over a year ago I was raped in Mexico by the owner of the hostel I was staying in.
After my return, I was not able to find the support groups I envisioned, with conversations and cups of tea. So, as an artist, I got well into my art and started a Facebook page: A Drawing A Day.
The process of producing one artwork a day, helped me process emotions in a way I would not have been able to do with words. Little did I know that other people would be interested in my work, and it suddenly took on a life of its own.
365 days later, I found myself stronger, braver, better. With 365 drawings, a happy heart and a very loud voice. As a survivor through art and by speaking not hiding, this creative challenge has given me the courage to feel colourful again; I am now using my work and my voice to share this bravery with other fellow survivors whom might not have the colours they are searching for in order to regain a happy life again.
I have reached 365 days and in celebration I am hosting an exhibition which opens on the 31st of July. I am working with White Ribbon and raising funds and awareness to stop violence against women.
However, my main concern is that rape is still seen as a taboo topic; that society sees women who have been raped as somehow broken. This, although I am a well-educated woman, was my first thought of myself after my own experience, as it was subconsciously an idea that society had built for me growing up. When you are raped or abused you feel incredibly worthless. I believe it takes a lot of colour, courage and words to break free of this.
If survivors of rape are stepping into a society that is uncomfortable or confronted with the word rape, then this worthless feeling is being compunded. I have just come out publicly with my own story, in hope to reach other fellow survivors and TO FINALLY BREAK THIS TABOO.
Through my Pozible campaign, I am striving to raise the funds to frame all these artworks – from my 365 days of healing – in the hope that I will be able to donate a very large sum to White Ribbon to further the awareness, my story and the story of millions of others. Statistically, one in three women will experience some sort of physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime. Think of three women you know.
We do not invest in victims. We invest in survivors and in ways both big and small the narrative of the victim shapes the way we see women. You can’t count on what you don’t see and we don’t invest in what is invisible to us, but this is the face of resilience and I really hope you choose to invest in not only my story but the story I share with countless women (and men) all over the world.
Thank you for all the support I have received so far.
Visit Meg Minkley’s A Drawing A Day Pozible campaign here.