We have just released a new infographic that summarizes htE’s mission and impact! Since our inception, we have met so many wonderful people who have helped keep our program going, even through a global pandemic. COVID didn’t stop us from making new friends and continuing to explore self-expression and entrepreneurship online. We are eternally thankful for our dedicated volunteers and donors who have generously offered their resources to make an impact. We now have reached over 150 individuals who have believed in our mission enough to donate art supplies or funds. It is so rewarding to see our survivors' excitement when their hard work pays off, in whatever way they define it. Whether completing the perfect piece for themselves, or a buyer taking it home as their own, we are glad to support them in finding their joy. Since 2016, our survivors have raised nearly 3,000 dollars via online and in-person markets throughout the course of 150 workshops ranging from sketching to sculpting. We could not have executed such a wide range of art forms without our amazing teaching artists who are open to sharing their knowledge and skill.
New state statistics underscore the importance of our mission. Reform and recovery are needed now more than ever, as reports of gender-based violence are only increasing.
The largest-scale sexual violence study to date reveals that around 1 in 3 women has experienced physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime (NPR.org). U.N. Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka called violence against women "the most widespread and persistent human rights violation" in the world (NPR.org).
The statistics in New York are consistent with the gravity of this epidemic. Reports of domestic violence are increasing steadily with an even higher jump in emergency hotline calls. About 18% of all homicides in New York are caused by domestic abusers (NYC.gov). Around 50,000 women are estimated to be raped in New York City alone per year, though most of them are never formally reported (svfreenyc.org). New York has the fourth-highest sex trafficking cases reported in America, with nearly 1,500 cases in 2018 (NYC.gov).
We are driven to continue supporting our resilient survivors in rebuilding their lives after gender-based violence. To this end, we have added some exciting updates to our program.
Due to popular request, we will continue to offer Open Studio sessions for survivors in the coming months. These give participants a chance to check in with each other and share current projects. They will be held weekly leading up to our new 12-week cycle for the summer which is currently “in production”.
We are also anticipating continuing virtual cycles even when we return in person! This will allow us to serve an even larger group of survivors across the country while continuing our gatherings at the Manhattan Family Justice Center.
Shoutout to everyone who has helped us get to where we are today! We cannot thank you enough.