Quilts tell stories of sexual violence

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On Aug. 19, the Monument Quilt, a national project featuring the stories of survivors of sexual violence, was on display at Daley Plaza.Photo by Fabiola Barral

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n Aug. 19, the Monument Quilt, a national project featuring the stories of survivors of sexual violence, was on display at Daley Plaza. Mujeres clients have added squares to thousands of others to make up a quilt with stories and messages about healing.

Rape Victim Advocates and Mujeres Latinas teamed up to bring the Monument Quilt display to Chicago. Monument Quilt is a display on tour created by FORCE, an organization whose mantra is “upsetting rape culture.” The Monument Quilt is meant as a public healing space, one where an individual’s story can be stitched alongside another’s to remind victims that they are not alone.

“We felt like it was necessary for clients to be creative, to give a different medium for survivors to be able to express themselves,” explained Lubia Nunez-Montelongo, a representative of Mujeres Latinas.
Mujeres Latinas created their very own quilt square and sewed it within the larger quilt to leave their own mark of compassion and understanding.

“We recognize that not everyone will be ready to tell their story. There are other ways survivors should be able to heal,” said Nunez-Montelongo.

“What I love about the monument is that it is gathered from so many different places; it represents a diverse range of experiences. It goes beyond the mainstream narrative of sexual assault, because the reality of sexual assault is much broader and deeper than that,” said Sharmili Majmudar, executive director of Rape Victim Advocates.

The Quilt Monument is headed east, passing through various cities before hitting its destination in Washington D.C. Here, the quilts will be displayed against the national wall in solidarity with victims of sexual assault.

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