Breaking Silence exhibit at CMC this week
If you go:
What: Breaking Silence exhibit
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, October 5 to 8
Where: Albright Auditorium at Colorado Mountain College, 1275 Crawford Ave.
Steamboat Springs — A unique exhibit called Breaking Silence is at Colorado Mountain College for the week and aims to start a dialogue about domestic violence and sexual assault.
Visitors to the exhibit put on headphones to hear the difficult, true stories of three people affected in different ways by interpersonal violence. As they listen, visitors walk through a series of curtained rooms that resemble the places where the stories of violence take place.
The tour ends at a reflection wall where people are invited to write down how the exhibit affected them or which stories they connected with most.
“We’re breaking the silence, because we want to start a dialogue,” said Alli Watt, a Colorado State University graduate who first created the exhibit two-and-a-half years ago.
Watt said that she records the survivors as they talk about their experiences, which can be part of the healing process for the survivors.
“It’s good to challenge yourself and really hear these survivors talk,” Watt said.
The exhibit at CMC also includes an optional story told from the perspective of someone who inflicted violence to understand another viewpoint.
Watt said the exhibit, which has traveled across Colorado, is a good tool for school classes to use to begin a discussion about consent.
The exhibit is in the Albright Auditorium at CMC and is open to the public Monday through Thursday this week.
After touring the exhibit Sunday evening, CMC student Hannah Bond said she hadn’t expected the stories to hit so hard.
“It hits you really deep inside,” Bond said. “You feel like you know the people.”
The event is being put on by CMC in collaboration with Advocates Building Peaceful Communities, Yampa Valley Medical Center and Routt County Individualized Service and Support Team.
Advocates Executive Director Diane Moore said the exhibit is an opportunity to encourage dialogue about sexual and domestic violence, which she said occurs in Steamboat Springs.
Advocates worked with more than 300 survivors during 2014, Moore said.
“What we know is that violence is occurring in our beautiful community,” she said.
Moore said that education and awareness could help break generational cycles of violence.
For more information about the exhibit, visit breakingsilenceco.org.
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