Rape & Abuse Survivors Are Making A Powerful Statement With This Project

Each year, an average of 293,066 people are raped and sexually assaulted, and over 10 million people are abused by their partners. But there's something that even these staggering numbers cannot convey: the story that each individual survivor carries. The Monument Quilt project aims to put these narratives at the center of the nation's conversation about rape and abuse.

Through the project, survivors of rape and abuse each design a square of fabric that represents his or her story. Some call for justice, while others declare they've reclaimed their bodies for themselves; some squares are full of text, while others make a more visual statement. One square simply reads, "no means no."

As the video above shows, the resulting quilt is assembled in a public space, as the survivors piece together their squares to form a quilt that displays all of their experiences in one piece. It's powerful to see, and that's the point — all at once, the Monument Quilt raises awareness and gives survivors a chance to publicly heal.

The Monument Quilt project will culminate in a display across a mile of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in October 2017. The projected 6,000 fabric squares will spell out "Not Alone."

For anyone who needs help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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