Triggers, Flashbacks And Healing: Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Below is a compilation of photos of childhood sexual assault survivors who were willing to be photographed with their ‘trigger’ objects. While many triggers can’t be photographed, these pieces provide a way of understanding what it means to be triggered (the first photo) and what it means to find a way to heal (the second photo).
In the first photo, the survivor interacts with their 'trigger' object. Often times, familiar and everyday items like markers, water, or the smell of punch cause flashbacks. As the trauma is relived, the survivor may begin to convulse, breath heavily, and have an increased heart rate. Triggers cause survivors to experience what they felt when they were being abused in present time.
In the second photo, the survivor poses with an object that signifies their healing. Each survivor is on a journey of healing and has found that to move pass the violence, they had to find love and safety in their careers and relationships with loved ones.
"Inspired by Survivors"
Breaking Silence is an organization committed to inspiring communities to take action and recognize their responsibility for the impact interpersonal violence (IPV) has on our culture and the lives of numerous individuals annually. Breaking Silence is creating a pro-active approach for responding to IPV through our interactive exhibit, which empowers participants to identify and prevent future incidences of IPV. The exhibit sparks important conversations, creating a new culture where breaking the silence is not only accepted but is strongly encouraged. True healing begins when survivors are given a voice, and that voice is heard. Through the exhibit these voices become the catalyst for change, creating communities where violence is no longer tolerated.
For more information please go to www.breakingsilenceco.org
Photos by Anya Semenoff