WORK TITLE: I TOLD MY RAPE STORY AGAIN
aRTIST: NALANI KOPP
mEDIUm: PROSE POEM
I told my rape story again yesterday. But I did not just tell it, I relived it. And that’s exactly the issue that victims face, we just don’t want to relive our horrifying experiences. Unfortunately, acts of violence against women only continue, as we are encouraged to sensor our stories from the public sphere.
I told my rape story again yesterday. This time was different. I lost control of the details, and I shared them in full. I remembered not being able to move, the Hills Have Eyes in the background, and the illegal switchblade casually in his closet. My memories took over the story, and filled in the blurred lines. Some say that by writing about rape experience, we perpetuate the problem. May I ask then, why does the problem persist?
All the details came back. Giving my statement seven times between my friend’s dorm room, the station, and the hospital. The immediate response when I told my parents that their just 18-year-old daughter needed them more than ever before. The rape kit. The rest of the mortifying details are best left in my artwork.
More than 12 years later, the details came back. I’m in the room, on the bed, at the floor. But this time the details are here to stay. Not for pity, not for shame, but to bring light even just briefly to a problem that still exists.
I told my rape recovery story again yesterday. This time it was charged with purpose - to be a change maker. I spoke about how I used to call my house dance family in New York and say “I just need to sweat.” No questions asked. We would dance the pain away, and I would share the details in movement. Let’s not just speak of our trauma, but also bring forward our recovery.
I told my rape recovery story again yesterday. Painting with my hands on canvas laid down in Van Cortlandt Park. Writing between the lines of poetry. Researching female artists whose voices had been hidden behind the literary canon. Elevating these voices in scholarly articles. Bringing forward #womenintech and #techinclusion solutions. Let’s not just speak about our trauma, but participate in a community who shares solutions for our desire to change.
I founded ArtherapyHQ for many reasons, and yes, providing solutions to women, who have experienced violence, is one of them. If this story moved you, please share, comment, or best of all Join the Movement.
We are looking for Change Makers for our digital and in-person community. You do not need to be an artist to be a member of our community, just to be open to learning new methods of expression.
If you want to join our international team, please contact us directly at www.artherapyhq.com/contact.
Always serving the underdog, Nalani Kopp is a visionary social entrepreneur, who empowers marginalized people through various immersion programs. Identifying as an international, she enables collaboration through cultural insights she has gathered through her global business experience. Since 2015, NalaniKopp.com has developed immersive Diversity & Inclusion programs and shared solutions for 20+ companies across industries from Banking to High Tech. She was recognized for her work at Tech Inclusion conferences hosted by Google and Viacom.
Raised with a desire to contribute to society, her family demonstrated that anything could be created with your imagination and the tools within your art cabinet. For the first 5 years of her career, she guided NYC minorities to find their voice through alternative learning and support programs.
At age 18, Nalani began managing full suite operations in small businesses. While ensuring excellent customer experiences, she shared how writers are activists for social change with her City University students.
Desiring to innovate further in NYC startups, she automated operations and integrated solutions, enabling employees to amplify client satisfaction by focusing on the people-side of customer experience.
Nalani continued her customer and employee experience consulting when hired by Bluewolf, an IBM company in 2017. She contributed both to clients and IBM’s own Digital Transformation journey using CM&L programs to support M&A strategies.
Most recently, she relocated to Amsterdam to expand her international experience. She joined Capgemini to continue working with clients in unifying their customer experience journey.
Adjacent to enterprise consulting, she continues to advise across industry on sustainable D&I strategies.
In 2019 she founded ArtherapyHQ, a change maker community that provides services and solutions to heal and to inspire women internationally. She hopes to scale her ability to connect people with organizations that serve their needs.
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