The Beginning of Healing Through Art- Project Unbreakable

“His hand wandered up my knee,slowly and slyly up into my skirt and then further up to….My mouth wanted to scream in protest but no sound came out except my heart was pounding so hard that I thought it was going to explode from my chest. I was hanging on to the pole in the bus as it weaved in and out of the Kuala Lumpur traffic at peak hour, what  was seconds felt like hours and my palms were sweating, I was confused and felt very violated. Suddenly the bus stopped and I recognised it was my stop, I got off the steps..stepping hard on the feet of the scvmbag (a poor specimen of humankind) who thought it was his right to violate me because he could, and because I was young.  I cannot remember his face, I don’t want to because I can’t forget the feeling of being molested”

The above paragraph is not an extract from a story, it happened to me almost 19 years ago on a public bus and it is only  recently I can actually say that I was molested by a stranger. That I was indecently touched without permission because some man thought he could get away with his despicable act on a easy target . It still makes me feel uneasy when I think of the incident because it was a horrible detestable thing to have happened.  This repressed memory only came back when I was sitting in the tram last month and this man tried to sit too close to me, edging in bit by bit and all the uneasy feeling came back like a wave, I was really agitated. Fortunately I was meeting up with my counsellor that day to talk things through.

And to this day, because I cannot remember his face but only his skin colour,even now  whenever I meet men of the same race background, my initial emotion is absolute dislike ,suspicion and distrust. I usually absolutely would not associate,befriend men of this background unless I have been introduced by a trusted source/friend and after taking my time to get to know them. I still hate what was done to me, and wished it never happen but the sense of being  violated is forever etched in my memory.

That is why I feel the need to demonstrate my support as well share about Project Unbreakable’s vision  and message on survival by victims of sexual assault of all kinds. A positive approach because it gives victims of sex crimes a voice and to let their abuse  know this “f*ck you, scr*w you,I survived your abuse and I am victorious and I am a survivor!” .

I am grateful that Grace Brown started the Project Unbreakable movement and true to the tagline , all the photos shared on the website  have become like  a collage of art pieces with a very clear  message and hopefully each victim who bravely confronted  what happened to them  will find some healing through this process.

Project Unbreakable:Image by Grace Brown

This episode which happened  almost 2 decades ago thankfully occured only once, I was violated by a complete stranger who had his way with me without my permission and  yet I still cannot forget what had happened. I cannot imagine how it must be for those who had endured it for years.

What speaks to me most about Project Unbreakable is the tagline which is healing through art and I can attest that is true because in all these years, craft has been my source of solace and the only thing that make sense when everything else in this world does not. The act of creating something beautiful or expressing inner emotions is a fantastic channel to heal.

If you do read this and have been a victim of any form of sexual abuse, remember it was not your fault. You did not ask for it and you were violated without your permission and you are not alone in your pain. You have every right to be respected and most importantly, seek help and support: Kids Helpline,Reach Out,Women Services.

Must importantly,and I love this quote : Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. Christopher Robin to Pooh”

With love Rachel@NOtaHati


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