Last month, St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services hosted a virtual launch event for their “Art for the Heart” virtual art gallery. Art for the Heart was one of several events Crime Victim Services planned in April to raise awareness of both Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. The “Art for the Heart” launch also marked the end of Crime Victim’s Rights Week (April 18 – 24).
Throughout April, Crime Victim Services shared pieces of art and tutorials for at-home projects on their Facebook page, all leading up to the gallery opening. The virtual art gallery showcased the work of survivors of crime, with numerous submissions from members of the Crime Victim Services ART (Artistic, Resilient, Talented) support group. The launch included a walk-through of the gallery and reflections from Izzy, an artist and survivor of crime, and Elizabeth Cronin, Director of the New York State Office of Victim Services.
“The ART group really helped me to build my self-confidence back and remember all the fun things that I once enjoyed doing before experiencing the biggest trauma of my life. I am a survivor of sexual assault and in the past 3 years I had been struggling to deal this experience and come to terms with what had happened to me,” said Izzy, who submitted multiple pieces to the gallery and spoke at the launch. “With the support of my counselor and the ART Group here at St. Peter’s, I have begun to slowly start to heal from my trauma.”
“The Office of Victim Services recognizes that victims and survivors of crime have unique needs that can’t be met by one-size-fits-all programming,” explained Cronin. “Providing individuals with the opportunity to participate in ART and other programs that allow them to use their creativity to process their trauma can be incredibly empowering and healing. We are committed to supporting diverse programs and services so individuals can get the help that best meets their needs.”
Visit the gallery here. Please note some works featured in the gallery explore themes including interpersonal violence, depression, and loss. We encourage all visitors to consider readiness before entering the gallery.
St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services offers free and confidential services to survivors of crime. Available services include medical and legal advocacy, short-term counseling, therapy, and compensation assistance. For more information, please call 518-271-3410 or visit us at www.sphp.com/sexual-assault. If you have been assaulted or urgently need to speak with someone outside of business hours, please contact our 24-hour hotline at 518-271-3257.