I Believe You
"I Believe You" is a traveling art exhibit and movement, showcasing works by survivors of trauma in different cities. These shows are unique in their setting by bringing awareness to subjects such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, trafficking, including LGBTQIA+ experiences in these types of abuse roles. Each show is a fundraiser to raise money for an organization within the community hosting the show.
How it began
"It might not be happening in your backyard, but it is happening in ours...
And if we can't say anything, we are going to die." -Skyler Mechelle
These words from my heart, is what started this whole movement.
In in effort to understand what the biggest challenge might be for a survivor to come forward about their abuse, I spoke with survivors. The thing that rang true in each persons story about taking the first step in breaking free was consistently backed by the fear of "What if no one believes me?"
In a society that all too often participates in, and encourages victim shaming, as well as a "shush shush, we don't talk about such things" attitude, we are narrowing the already sliver sized passage, for victims to transition to survivors.
In order to break down stigmas, and bring awareness to the level of abuse and trafficking that is happening within our communities we need to create a safe platform for survivors to come forward and share their truth, and be believed. It is my earnest hope and intention, that this art movement be a step towards that.
-Amber Newby, Founder and Curator of "I Believe You"
how it works
A traveling exhibit of survivors works in all mediums, to be on display in a variety of environments. All artists can have their work for sale at the price of their choosing, and in the event of a sale would receive said payment.
In an attempt to give back to the communities hosting exhibits, and to push awareness into action, there will be a Merchandise Display at each exhibit. This will consist of donated art and handmade goods, as well as I Believe You t-shirts and such. These items will be priced at $25 and under and will be sold to raise money for an organization in need within the host community.
“Whether it is a service dog, or a warm meal, or a therapy session, or housing, or clothes, or fucking Netflix that these funds provide. They aren't just donations that are going to some random space, they are pure life that is being extended to those who truly need to be reminded they aren't alone.
In a world where their trust has been fractured time and time again, this is a TANGIBLE way to help them reclaim.
To help US not be so scared sometimes. To help us not carry it all alone.”
how you can be a part of it
Gratitude does not wholly encompass the meaning of your involvement.
Inspiring barely scratches the surface of your bravery.
Humbled is a place so high up above me on pedestal, out of reach.
In awe. Honored. No word seems big enough. Meaningful enough.
You are seen. You are heard.
I BELIEVE YOU.
currently fundraising for
"This funding page is for the chance to get my poetry, my story, out there and remind people, especially my QPOCs, that we are not alone. We are so much stronger than anyone can comprehend. We are not here for your amusement. We are here to dismantle the systematic oppression that has riddled us since the dawn of time.
I want to tell people about how I almost pressed "stop", but I continued.
I want to share my story and cry in front of my brothers, sisters, (cis/otherwise). I want to grow, and let my story and strength seep into the skin of those who want to listen. I want the chance to be the person I know I can be.
I want the chance to tell my story. And I'm asking for that chance.
My name is Kayla Ann Fernandes.
I am a poet. I am an artist. I am a survivor.
I am raising funds to travel to Huntingdon, PA. Where for the first time, my work will be publicly displayed (alongside other works of survivors from all over) at the "I BELIEVE You" exhibit, happening October 6th 2017. I have been invited to do a reading of my poetry at the opening, as well as share my story of survival at a large event for The Association For Suicide Prevention.
To use my poetry and get it out there to people is my dream, and I'm finally going to be able to do it with your help!
Thank you for contributing to allow me to participate in the opportunities unfolding in front of me.
With love and gratitude,
Not all needs are visible.
In the wise and powerful words of Paulo Coelho "It takes huge effort to free yourself from memory," and it takes even bigger effort to ask for what you need, especially when that ask requires a retelling of a story that should have never happened.
Right now, we are partnering with Ashley, a brave, intelligent, wise, and talented survivor to help fund her Service Dog. Ashley's art, as seen on the right, will be up at our traveling I Believe You Exhibition for purchase, as well as a donation space to support her in receiving long term financial aid, as she purchases and trains her future service dog.
"...Creating this campaign has taken a lot of thought and courage. Something I have learned throughout my journey of recovery is that sometimes the most couragous thing a person can do is reach out for support. My goal through this is to be as transparent as I can be while still maintaining my own sense of safety. So here is my story..."
Read Ashley's harrowing and painfully honest story below, and please consider donating to her very noble cause.
We're all in this together.