Too often, we read about survivor’s stories as if they are something other, something outside of ourselves, or perhaps the survivors we learn about remain both nameless and faceless – held at such a distance from our own experience that we simply cannot connect. At times, the stories we read reflect far too intimately, like a mirror, the shadows of our own sexual traumas, and for the purposes of our own short-term self-preservation, we choose not to connect. Sharing that intimate space of the theater with survivors expressing the complex reality of their own experiences creates an atmosphere where those who do not know sexual violence intimately (as survivors themselves) have an unparalleled lens into what it looks like, feels like and sounds like. The injuries of sexual trauma and the capacity of resilience literally shows up in the way we carry our bodies, the way we move or do not move and the vast variety of facial expressions we develop to communicate our loss, our confusion, our anger and our power.
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