This project discusses sexual violence, and contains images and themes that may be upsetting and may evoke an emotional response.
Sexual violence is a global issue that cuts across ethnicity, age, disability and other categories, although it disproportionately affects women. The topic of sexual violence is rarely discussed within society, partly due to ignorance, and partly due to the associated social stigma, and shame. This shame and stigma is integral in maintaining the justice system that routinely dismisses survivors of sexual violence, and allows perpetrators of sexual violent crimes to avoid punishment. The institutions that provide support to survivors of sexual violence are underfunded, and as a result, often cannot provide the level of service that they want to and are capable of.
This proposal aims to take the stigma and shame out of discussing sexual violence, by positioning the issue at the local scale of Manchester, and addressing the stigma of being sexually assaulted at an individual and community scale. The proposal redesigns the St. Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) to reflect the emerging people- and-trauma-centered standard of care that the St. Mary’s SARC is providing, and demonstrates the possibilities that could be made real, if the government prioritised supporting survivors of sexual assault (legislatively and financially), instead of priotising maintaining the current, defective system.