Hearts created by sexual assault survivors on display at the Goggleworks, Corazón Lastimado: Healing the Wounded Heart

Berks Women in Crisis and Centro Hispano Daniel Torres invited survivors of rape and sexual assault and the advocates who work with them to create hearts for a community-wide Corazón Lastimado Project.

Corazón Lastimado, originally developed by the national advocacy organization Arte Sana, offers a powerful visual testimony of the experiences of sexual assault survivors and victim advocates – from the initial rage and pain, to the condemnation of the re-victimization that many survivors experience, to the powerful impact of victim services, to the process of survival, healing, and redemption.

Each participant was provided a ten-inch wooden heart to personalize. Participants were not professional artists, and were encouraged to use any medium (paint, fabric, decoupage, etc.) and express themselves freely in order to depict any aspect of the assault or the healing process.

Participants returned the hearts to BWIC for inclusion in the project, providing as little or as much information about their heart to be shared with the public as they wished – some gave their name or initials, and some remained completely anonymous. Each heart has a title or short paragraph describing it for the viewer.

In October 2013 BWIC and Centro worked together to launch the first phase of the project, a collection of advocate hearts. Created by BWIC and Centro staff members, the hearts were displayed at the Goggleworks and the Miller Center for the Arts in conjunction with the ACT production of RUINED.

Currently the community-wide hearts are on display at the Goggleworks, on the green wall across from the movie theater, through June 28.

For more information about the Corazón Lastimado: Healing the Wounded Heart survivor art exhibit, please contact Karen Nein at Berks Women in Crisis at 610-370-7810, or karenn@berkswomenincrisis.org. For more information about the national project, visit www.arte-sana.com.