"taking it"
 

I am presently immersed in an art and protest project that enters into questions of consent and victim blaming, and the way patriarchal systems muzzle and strangle and suffocate.

There are several dimensions to the work and creation, and some of it includes you. We am looking to gather letters from real humans (such as you reading this now) who want and are willing to share their stories and experiences. You do not need to include your name, though you are welcome to. The letters will be visible and seen but will be transformed into a larger piece of art.

Your voice matters. Your experience matters. Your truth matters.
And i believe you.
I believe you. 
I believe you.

This is what I know to be true.
Horrible acts of violence have happened to me, and in their happening and the telling of them, the most common response I have received is something along the lines of "but he can't get away with that." And this has only further isolated and othered me, where I am left not just with the wounds and scars of the violence itself but now am confronted with other's disbelief that the system would fail me. Except of course it does. The answer is, he will get away with it. He already has. That is the very design of the system itself. 

And so over time, we learn to not speak about it because other people's outrage becomes its own exhaustion.

This is also true: but it did happen.

 

We are inviting and requesting letters that tell stories and experiences of
oppression, harm, and resistance in misogynistic patriarchal systems which violate consent and blame victims.

This can include personal accounts of

  • sexual abuse, sexual assault and violence: issues with reporting, being blamed for the assault, police misconduct and failure to respond, violations in the court system. 

  • clergy abuse and failure to remove people from power when victims come forward.

  • sexual assault on college campuses and failure by the institutions to take action and expel perpetrators.

  • brutality and other forms of interference and violence by those with power and employed in the systems claimed to protect. 

  • custody battles in which women are not heard and believed and their sexuality or their socio-economics or their work is used against them and distorted to make claims of unfit parenting.

  • experiences and stories of being the child in a difficult custody dispute in which you as a child were not heard or believed and the court favored the parent of greater privilege.

  • sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace, and the consequences of reporting for you that lead to termination or a more hostile work environments.

  • domestic violence. intimate partner violence. absence of resources to receive support in leaving and failure of the systems to protect from escalating violence and the constant fear for one's safety. 

  • abusive relationship with people of power who could harm financially, physically, emotionally, and sexually, spiritually.

 

Letters can be sent the following ways:
you can email them to hello@isabelabbott.com
or feel free to send in the mail.
Isabel Abbott
PO Box 25396
Chicago, IL
60625

If you want to share your story and have it transformed into art and protest project, I am here, listening, and will receive it, joining you in resistance and wings made of stories of what really happened.

Thank you so much.
with love and defiance,
Isabel + Stacy De La Rosa