Grace Brown began Project Unbreakable with people she knew who had been sexually assaulted. The project quickly escalated and now includes more than 2,000 survivors from all over the country holding signs with the quotes from their attackers written on them. Her mission is “healing through art.”
Brown, 21, is a photographer and public speaker from Massachusetts. Her first subject was a friend who confided in her. The story made her realize how common sexual assault is and she awoke the next day with the idea for Project Unbreakable.
One striking thing about these images is that they’ll remind people that sexual assault is not a new phenomenon. Some of these men are middle-aged and are just now telling their stories. Most didn’t share their stories until they were adults. The perpetrator isn’t always the lecherous step-father, creepy neighbor, or depraved priest, either. Sometimes they’re friends. Siblings. Grandparents. Neighbors. And, yes, sometimes their rapists are women.
One in three women have been or will be sexually assaulted at some time in their lifetime. One in five men have been or will be sexually assaulted at some time in their lifetime. The numbers aren’t much different, so why don’t we hear more about the men who are assaulted? Why don’t they tell? The answer to that question lies largely in the lies their rapists tell them. See for yourself. There is a video about Project Unbreakable at the end of this article.
UPDATE 11/19/13 We can not make gender assumptions. Some of the courageous people in these photos may be transgender, and therefore, I can not assume that they are male or female.
You can support Project Unbreakable by direct donations or by purchasing t-shirts or wristbands from the store. Visit on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter. For information on submitting your own photo, visit the site. Watch a video about the project below.
Images from Project Unbreakable’s Tumblr