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Unveiling the Masks

1.	Secondary victim of sexual assault.  The mother of two boys where one brother sexually assaulted his younger brother. On the outside I had to put on a brave face and look like everything is normal, but inside I was dying and depressed.  I couldn’t think straight or stop crying.  Nothing could ever be “normal” again.
2.	Primary victim of sexual and domestic violence.  One half I was feeling like I had to put on a brave face and the other side is the deep dark depression I felt from all the mean and nasty things my husband would do to me.  It ripped my soul apart.
3.	Primary victim of sexual and domestic violence.  My mask reflects the deep dark depression I felt and how it encompassed me deep inside, but also on the outside as well.  Through my healing my depression has lifted and that reflects in the many shades of blue I used.
4.	Primary victim of sexual assault.  I am usually a happy person, I am a student and I work hard, and I believe everyone is good, until I was drugged and raped by a friend.  I now wear the badge of a victim of sexual assault, which is the teal line on my face.  I reported the assault to the authorities, but I feel that I am being re-victimized over and over by our judicial system, that now I want to give up.  I am not the same person anymore.
5.	Primary victim of sexual assault.  I was sexually assaulted and reported the incident to law enforcement.  My abuser admitted to the rape, but no one wanted to prosecute him.  I was told I did not make a “good witness” even though he admitted to the rape.  My mask reveals how I should be a perfect person, a perfect witness and the other half I was broken! I lost my faith in God! My lips were sewed shot by the very judicial system that made to protect me, and my brain was fragmented.  I was fragile and in a very dark place.
6.	Primary victim of sexual assault.  I was raped by an acquaintance and I reported it to law enforcement.  On the outside I felt I had to be happy, bright, and shining like nothing is wrong, but inside I felt like pins and needles.  I was always on edge, not knowing if this would happen to me again or will justice be served. My abuser apologized and admitted to the offense, and the legal system did not prosecute, they stated it “lacked intent”.  I feel so alone!
7.	Secondary victim of sexual assault.  A family member sexually assaulted another family member.  I felt split, like I was not whole.  I felt lost and detached from the rest of the world.  To deal with the sexual assault was too real, too painful and too uncomfortable to deal with, but to heal you must get it together and I found that extremely hard.
8.	Primary victim of sexual assault.  I was continually sexually assaulted by my husband over the last year and a half.  One half of my mask reflects that I am going through life “as is”, putting on somewhat of a brave face for children, family and public.  Inside I am depressed, and I lost my sense of self.  My husband was addicted to porn and thought he could treat me that way.  Slowly, I cracked, and the pieces mean how I slowly lost myself.  I am trying to heal to become “whole” again.
9.	Primary victim of sexual assault age 11.  I was sexually assaulted by my brother and my mask represents me hiding behind a mask, while the other is covered in betrayal (color goldenrod) and the blue is for my tears and the black on my lips is the silence and shame because you can’t talk about it.
10.	Secondary victim of sexual assault.  My brother was sexually assaulted by our brother.  The camouflage represents me hiding from the shame and disgrace I feel.  No one can know what happened inside our family walls.  It doesn’t happen to “our” family! Shhhh, what will the neighbors think?  I have so many questions and no answers.  I feel so angry, torn, depressed and betrayed by someone who is blood and family.
11.	Primary victim of sexual assault.  My abuser was my employer – a doctor with a “God Complex”.  The mask represents the straight line where I always followed directions and walked the straight and narrow.  I was always trying to be perfect.  Black is the void, the emptiness That I feel.  Red is for the pain, the anger, the gap to understanding why this happened to me.  The white/black dots are feeling dirty, while yellow if for shame.  The horizontal lines across my lips represents that I can’t speak, I am gagged because of the fear no one will believe me.  The mask also shows how the colors all merge together to show no matter how hard you try to fight it; the pain still shows.
12.	Primary victim of sexual and domestic violence by her husband.  I am an outgoing friendly person, always looking for that silver lining in the cloud of abuse that followed me.  On the inside I was filled with depression, despair, loneliness, shame, guilt and sorrow.  I couldn’t let anyone know that my marriage was not a happy one or the things he did to me when we were alone.
13.	A primary victim of sexual violence.  My abuser was a friend, a friend that was trusted and liked by my family.  When the chips were down, and I was distraught, this person took advantage of me and sexually assaulted me knowing that I could not fight back.  I was humiliated, disgusted, in disbelief, betrayed, hurt, sick to my stomach and angry!  He took advantage of a friend to meet his monstrous sexual needs.
14.	A primary victim of sexual and domestic violence by her ex-husband.  I am a private person, meek, but proud.  I could never let anyone know what I was feeling or what was happening in my life because I did not want to be cruelly judged.  Inside I was so ashamed, angry, hurt and depressed that I was abused by the man said vows too.  There was no trust, love, respect only pain.
15.	Primary victim of sexual and domestic violence by past abuser’s and her current husband.  I am a “Happy-G-Lucky” person, always seeking the good in people and situations.  No one will find out anything unless I want them to know.  I hid my pain, shame and guilt from everyone.  No one knew what I was going through or the struggle I was fighting.
16.	 Primary victim of sexual assault.  I was continuously sexually assaulted by my employer until I took a stand.  The purple is for hope, pink if for beauty, blue is for trying to be perfect that I became depressed.  The purple goes with the flow like nothing is wrong and the inner side of me I feel rage, I feel anger, I feel hate for myself for letting this go on.  I feel confusion, denial, sadness because my life went up in smoke.  The yellow is for shame and being scared. The black is the dark place I went to where I couldn’t find my voice.  The white is for my streaming tears I cried of loneliness, helplessness and numbness.   My bad feelings could no longer be contained so I exploded!
17.	Secondary victim of sexual assault.  My ex-husband sexually assaulted our daughters.  Trying to create a mask that represented what I went through was challenging.  To find out that the man that you were married to and the father of your children could betray and harm your children is reprehensible, disgusting and vile.  I couldn’t function as a human.  So many things were coming at me.  My life as I knew it was ending.  My children needed me more than ever.  I went to a dark place while still maintaining a home for my children, a routine, and a stable environment while trying to cooperate with law enforcement.  I had to put on a brave face and look to the brighter side, I turned to God to take away all my pain and sadness.  He has blessed me.
18.	Primary victim of sexual and domestic violence.  My boyfriend and the father of my three children beat and raped me.  The violence started gradually and then it got more physical where I had two black eyes, a broken nose and cracked skull.  In addition to the beatings he raped me when I said, “NO!!!”.  At the time of doing this mask, I felt not worthy enough to even paint the mask, he took my self-respect away, and my identity.  I don’t know who I am anymore.  There is no façade, I just exist.