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Raising awareness and to promote Sexual Violence Awareness Month (SVAM) in Australia in 2011, Living Well held an online poster and visual media competition. This competition became a joint project with 1in6.org from the USA. As equal partners, we are committed to assisting men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences to live healthier, happier lives.

Raising awareness with 1in6.org

In partnership with 1in6.org, we offered three prizes, totalling $1500 in prize money, to the artists who created a poster or piece of media which best expressed the theme:

‘Sexual abuse is something that I experienced… It’s not who I am.’

 

Art is a powerful medium that can both bear witness and support personal and social change. Our aim for this competition was to provide an avenue for artists, art students, art educators, art therapists, and anyone at all! to use their creativity to express and explore this complex issue.

Rationale for this theme

The statement ‘Sexual abuse is something that I experienced… It is not who I am’ was made by a man attending the Living Well service. It was chosen as the competition theme for the way that it both acknowledges a man’s experience of sexual abuse and his commitment to living a life defined by him.

Research tell us that 1 in 6 men will experience childhood sexual abuse and that on average they will take 22 years to tell someone about it, 10 years longer than women. When men do come forward, they often talk of their being limited public awareness or supportive accounts that speak to their experience. Raising awareness is thus extremely important.

In our work with men who have been subjected to sexual abuse our challenge is to find ways to both acknowledge the profound horror, pain and difficulties produced by sexual assault, whilst simultaneously noticing and supporting a person’s struggles, ways of managing, holding on to hope, engaging with and commitment to living a full life. At Living Well and 1in6 we see our work as inspiring, hopeful, transformative, life supporting work that acknowledges that people’s lives are multi-storied. We are looking to reward and promote the poster/visual media that navigates this complex terrain and best addresses the identified theme ‘Sexual abuse is something that I experienced… It is not who I am.’

Visual media can raise awareness and become inspirational

Examples of how posters can do this include:

J. Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!”, commonly referred to as Rosie the Riveter.

The 2008 presidential campaign Obama “Hope” poster by Shepard Fairey.

We welcomed entries in both traditional poster format and ‘new visual electronic media’ from anywhere in the world. There was no requirement to include or not include the text ‘Sexual abuse is something that I experienced… It is not who I am’. The intention was for the posters and visual media to become an expression of this theme in ways that connects with the viewer and conveys the message.

$1500 in Prize Money

  • 1st prize – $1000 (Awarded by Competition Panel)
  • Runner up – $250 (Awarded by Competition Panel)
  • People’s choice – $250
  • Submissions to be received by the 10th of October 2011
  • Winners to be announced on the 26th of October 2011
Competition Panel

Accepted posters/visual media were posted to the Competition Entries page of this site to support voting for the people’s choice.

Thank you to everyone for your participation!

Take a look at the competition winners.
 

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