This year’s promotional piece is a mosaic of four original submissions from the 2003 exhibit. The title of each heart from left to right: "Throw Me A Rope" by Laura, "La Sirena" by C. McCarty, "My Soul Has Survived" by A. Wellnetz, and "Ellas" by D.Zapata Murff.

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Various Artists
sponsored by Arte Sana

March 2003 --- The Corazón Lastimado: Healing the Wounded Heart™ survivor art exhibit offers visual testimony to the impact of sexual violence in our lives by offering survivors and those who work with them wooden hearts to use as vehicles of expression and healing.

The project, begun in March 2001 as a collaboration between sexual assault programs in Texas and La Peña Latino Arts Organization, is now a program of Arte Sana (art heals), a non-profit organization that believes in the intrinsic healing power of art and culture.

The goals of the exhibit include:

*Offer a vehicle of expression and healing to those affected by violence both directly and indirectly, especially those survivors who have been typically under-served or marginalized.

*Use art to educate and generate public awareness about the issues relating to sexual and intimate partner violence and its incredible impact in the lives of so many.


This year, as in previous ones, over 50 percent of those who submitted these pieces were abused at age 15 or younger. Due to the nature of the themes of this exhibit, some of the artwork displayed may be explicit and potentially disturbing to some, especially young children. Parental guidance is advised.

*Provide an international network of support and technical assistance for other communities in the U.S. and in Latin America that are interested in participating or developing their own Corazón Lastimado, Healing the Wounded Heart project, and offer support to developing sexual assault and domestic violence programs.

While rape, sexual assault, and incest continue to be underreported crimes that impact our communities on a daily basis. In most cases the perpetrators are family members, partners, or acquaintances.

Replication of exhibit:

Thus far, the Corazón Lastimado: Healing the Wounded Heart™ survivor art exhibit has been replicated locally by the following groups:

National Resource Sharing Project, DC
University of Connecticut, Hartford, CT University of Alabama, Mobile, AL
Rutgers University, Camden NJ
Michigan State University, Lansing, MI
Mujeres Unidas, Moorhead, MN
The Center for Student Transition and Support - Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
Casa de la Mujer, Rosario, Argentina
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
University of Connecticut Women's Center
Rape Assistance and Awareness Program, CO

The exhibit also recently traveled to the following conferences:

National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Annual Conference: New Americas: A Transnational Paradigm
September 2002, Austin, TX

Florida Council Against Sexual Violence Annual State Conference
September 2002, Tampa, FL

Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence Lobby Day, Des Moines, IA 2006

Sexual Assault Awareness Week, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 2006

Arte Sana has developed a technical assistance packet to help facilitate the replication of the exhibit on a local level. Please contact us at for more information.

Often due to shame or fear of the reaction from family or the community, many victims suffer in silence and never receive the validation nor the medical or emotional attention they deserve. Furthermore, because we often doubt the validity of rape victims' experiences, rape is the least reported crime of all despite the fact that one in four women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetimes. Furthermore, about three percent of American men – a total of 2.78 million men have also experienced rape at some point in their lives. For the few who do choose to share their experience, justice is not a guarantee. Very few rapists are ever convicted while less than two percent actually service time in prison.

For many survivors of sexual abuse, the first step towards healing is breaking the silence. Some choose to tell their stories in words, while others choose alternative more creative vehicles of expression.

Historically, art has always served various purposes, from advertising political power to embodying ideology. But even in its most public form its true audience is an audience of one and its true function is to inspire, absorb and reflect deep emotions. Through art, many survivors find themselves able to express issues related to their victimization and healing more clearly and safely than with words. Through the sharing of their experiences, many survivors are finally able to find the release they seek and the freedom they’ve lost -- on their own terms.

We invite you to share their stories. 

Special Thanks

Arte Sana would like to express appreciation to all of the artists who participated in this exhibit. The art, the stories, and the messages have impacted many in a significant way and will continue do so for quite some time. Through participation in this exhibit, survivors have assumed a proactive role in validating, educating, and demanding that the human and legal rights of victims of sexual violence be respected.

Artwork Collaborators

Thank you to the following centers and organizations that have facilitated the participation of their clients and staff in this art exhibit:
Advocacy and Support Center – Elizabethtown, KY
Advocacy Center for Crime Victims & Children – Waco, TX
Alternativas Pacificas, Monterrey, México
A Window Between Worlds - Venice, California
Casa de la Mujer, Rosario, Argentina
Communities In Schools at Wooldridge Elementary – Austin, TX
Communities Against Rape (CARe) Initiative of Purdue University – West Lafayette, IN
Communities In Schools, Mendez Middle School - Austin, TX
Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence - Corvallis, Oregon
East Los Angeles Women’s Center – Los Angeles, CA
Family Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center of South Texas - Victoria, TX
Family Crisis Center - Bastrop, TX
Grupo Desde el Pie, Rosario, Argentina
Hope of South Texas – Victoria, TX
Indiana Campus Sexual Assault Prevention Project – Indiana
The Magdalene Foundation - Austin, TX
North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault - Raleigh, North Carolina
Opening Closed Doors - Austin, TX
Rape Crisis Center of Collin County - Plano TX
Rape Crisis Center - San Antonio, TX
Rochester Institute of Technology - Rochester, NY
SafePlace – Austin, TX
Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs - Olympia, Washington
Williamson County Crisis Center
Wintergarden Women’s Shelter, Inc. – Carrizo Springs, TX
Women's Center of Northeastern Connecticut - East Hartford, Connecticut
Women's Shelter, Inc.

This project was funded in part by the City of Austin under the auspices of the Austin Arts Commission.

View the 2003 exhibit
View the 2002 exhibit
Información en espanol
Send us your comments regarding the exhibit.
Read the press release.

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