Healing from Sexual Violence Through Art

Mere Objects creator Sarah Jane on hope & healing after sexual violence.

Posted by Mere Objects on Monday, September 11, 2017

Today I had the privilege of speaking with Sarah Jane, an artist and educator who engages in a variety of different mediums including sculpture, mosaic, and collaborative projects. Currently she is a staff at the Grunewald Guild, an arts education nonprofit in Leavenworth, WA, but her most recent project is Mere Objects: a participatory art project to honor and empower those who have experienced sexual violence.

To tell you a little bit more about this project, Mere Objects was launched in October 2016. Sarah Jane said, “I felt a calling to create something ‘for survivors’ and knew immediately that I couldn’t draw only from my own experiences in order to create this piece,” so she put a call out on Facebook and began gathering what later became her advisory council of people who experienced sexual violence. Sarah told me a little bit more about the group of 20 people who helped shape the project. “That group weighed in on various ideas and sketches, tweaking some ideas and vetoing others. Until we agreed on the current format of Mere Objects.” Mere Objects now functions with the following format.

Participants anonymously contribute to the project by sending in objects that represent them, their healing process, or aspects of the abuse they experienced. Many include a note discussing the significance of the objects they chose. Objects are small and the project is open to people of all genders who have experienced any form of sexual violence.

Sarah Jane has described the project as a mix of rewarding and difficult. She says, “It has been incredibly rewarding to connect with others who have experienced sexual violence, to share our stories and support one another through the healing process. I continue to be amazed and honored by the trust that participants place in me…That said, I’m finding that it’s pretty uncomfortable to identify publicly as a rape survivor.” She states that she has been met with insensitive or inappropriate questions and has been triggered by other experiences. She says, “I don’t regret it, but there are times when I really need to disconnect and spend time focusing on something else.”

Behind the scenes — making a portrait of a survivor

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how an object (in this case, a cigarette that the survivor desired to empty "both of its contents and its meaning") becomes a completed Portrait of a Survivor.

Posted by Mere Objects on Monday, May 22, 2017

She says for those interested in participating she wanted to emphasize that “it’s always an individual choice, and I recognize it’s not for everyone, so there’s no pressure. There’s also no deadline, and of course you can always participate anonymously. I love all the different ways that participants have found to engage with the project – some have sent items directly related to their assault, while others have chosen items that correspond to the healing process, their faith, or the person they are today.”

If you are interested in learning more about Sarah Jane’s project, additional information can be found at the project’s website, mereobjects.org. If you are interested in mailing in a submission to the project, the address is listed below:

Mere Objects

PO Box 6

Leavenworth, WA



Sexual Assault Support Group

WCGL Sexual Assault Support Group 

Sexual assault is a difficult issue that many women struggle with, and an issue that WCGL helps women work through. We offer our Sexual Assault Support Group every Monday from 6:30pm-8:00pm. If you are a victim of sexual assault, or know someone who is a victim of sexual assault who could benefit from this support group, please contact us to get more information.

Support Group Times: Monday at 6:30pm-8:00pm

Contact Number: (517)-372-9163 

Capital City Eats

A local restaurant raffle fundraiser

Everybody’s gotta eat, right? The purchase of a $30 raffle ticket will enter you in a drawing to win one of two prizes.

First prize is seven local restaurant gift cards good for $30 each. 

Second prize is two NCG theater passes and a $20 gift card!

Only 100 tickets will be sold.

Raffle Tickets can be purchased online through the donate button or in person at the Women’s Center or from a board or staff member. Using the donate button is our only means of online raffle ticket sales. Raffle tickets are not considered a donation by IRS standards. 

Drawing will be held August 30 here at the Women’s Center at 4:00 pm. Winners will be notified by phone. 

Support WCGL: Capital City Dragon Boat Race 2017

The 7th Annual Capital City Dragon Boat Race is just around the corner! While we have many volunteers, sponsors, paddlers, and teams who make this event happen, we invite everyone to support WCGL by being a spectator.

What to expect

Around a dozen teams will be competing in this year’s Dragon Boat Race, each team consisting of 18 paddlers, a drummer and a flag bearer. With a dragon head at the stern of the boat and a tail at the bow, each team will race across the pond at Hawk Island Park.

Dragon Boating is a Chinese sport that has been modernized by many today. For the Center, The Capital City Dragon Boat Race honors those affected by breast cancer, those who have suffered other types of cancer, and those who have experienced domestic or sexual violence.

There’s a lot that happens at CCDBR other than the actual race itself. The Awakening the Dragon Ceremony is a Chinese custom done every year and the Pink Carnation Remembrance Ceremony is held to honor the survivors and victims.

In addition to this, there will be several activities occurring throughout the day hosted by the Confucius Institutes at Michigan State University and Wayne State University. These activities are held for spectators, adults and children alike, to learn more about Chinese culture.

Show your support!

The Capital City Dragon Boat Race is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year that the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing hosts. Money raised by entrance fees for boats helps WCGL greatly and allows us to keep doing the work we do to help women realize their potential.

Furthermore, attending CCDBR as a spectator gives you plenty of on-land activities to participate in and most importantly, shows your support for and honors those who are victims and survivors of breast cancer, sexual and domestic violence, and more.

The Capital City Dragon Boat Race is Sunday the 21st at Hawk Island Park in Lansing Michigan from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!