Recently, I received a call from a local Rape Crisis Center regarding where they could find posters and other items they could use to decorate their main office.  The advocate mentioned that they were looking for things that clients could relate to and would make them feel welcomed.  My initial thought was, “Where can I refer her to purchase posters?”  As I referred her to some sites I began to think, “How practical is it for Rape Crisis Centers to have the funds to purchase posters in theses tough economic times?” For many centers, it’s just not practical at all.

Providing a welcoming and representative environment for clients can cost little to no money. Something that came to mind is Arte Sana’s Corazon Lastimado (Healing the Wounded Heart) art project.  Arte Sana began this art project in 2003 as a therapeutic and creative way for survivors to express the impact of sexual assault in their lives, including their journey towards healing.
Some centers have already begun to do this with clients.  For instance, centers are using client’s artwork  (with written consent) during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April at events or as displays in their offices.  Using client’s art can be a great way to personalize your center, provide inspiration for staff and clients and help clients on their journey toward healing.
If you are interested in showcasing your client’s art work, below are some resources that may help you with various ideas to get you on your way.
Arte Sana
A Window Between Worlds
The Bandana Project
Putting a Face on Abuse
Has your agency worked on a similar project? Please feel free to share your experiences with others in the comments section below.