Elisa L. Iannacone

Sexual Assault Survivors' Feelings Expressed In Beautiful Photo Series

Photographer and sexual assault survivor Elisa Iannacone is sending a powerful message about rape with her latest photo series.

In an effort to create a more open and honest conversation about the crime's psychological effects on survivors, Iannacone created "The Spiral of Containment: Rape's Aftermath" — a series of photos that portrays real women and the unique thoughts and feelings they have in the wake of their assaults.

Elisa L. Iannacone

In an interview with Mashable, Iannacone says, "The aim is to allow rape survivors to express themselves creatively and share their stories in an empowering way, as well as changing the discourse revolving around sexual violence."

The project is also very close to Iannacone's heart, as she revealed, "I was raped several years ago and felt like my life had completely lost its course."

Elisa L. Iannacone

One of Iannacone's subjects was assaulted in her sleep, which reminded her of the original "Sleeping Beauty" fairytale in which the prince climbs up the tower and rapes the sleeping princess.

"During our discussion, she mentioned how she had imagined herself as Sleeping Beauty so many times, locked up in that tower, and how she could have stayed in it forever," Iannacone says.

That revelation inspired Iannacone to recreate the fairytale's feel for this woman's portrait.

Elisa L. Iannacone

Iannacone believes the images in her series not only help rape survivors to express their trauma, but also allow the women themselves to heal.

And she would know — she even makes an appearance within the series herself.

Elisa L. Iannacone

Currently, Iannacone is raising money with her Kickstarter fund to turn the images into a real-life installation of 24 photographs in total — one for each rape survivor.

Each image will be part of a color wheel to represent how all survivors are somehow connected to each other in their post-assault emotional "spiral."

As Iannacone writes on her Kickstarter page, "I can honestly say that this kind of work changed my life and allowed me to re-gain the direction I had lost."

Citations: Rape survivor creates powerful photo series to break taboos (Mashable)