Continuous Voices, a project for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and others affected by trauma, has taken another step forward.
While initial plans for creative workshops, to help participants develop ideas, have been postponed, a Facebook page has launched to collate information and keep people informed.
The project intends to memorialise the experiences of survivors of sexual abuse, through artwork, writing, and performance.
The aim is to have a permanent memorial to "signify healing and hope".
It has support from the City of Ballarat, the Art Gallery of Ballarat, the Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault, Compassionate Ballarat, LOUD Fence, Women's Health Grampians, and the Care Leavers Australasia Network.
The project's Blake Curran said he wanted to reassure people affected by news of Cardinal George Pell's acquittal that the project is still happening despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Curran's father was sexually abused as a child - his premature death, after stridently speaking out against the Catholic Church's abuses, led to Mr Curran continuing to fight and make sure survivors are heard.
"Given the situation, a lot of people still felt unheard, and I didn't want people going into the long weekend feeling like that," he said.
"The fact they're in isolation at home may also play havoc with people."
He said the working group was still meeting regularly, and was considering online workshops and podcasts in the interim.
"It wouldn't just be victims, it'd be spouses, advocates, politicians - it's such a ripple effect, that's affected so many people in Ballarat and the region," he said.
"We're looking at having online training through Beyond Empathy facilitated by the City of Ballarat, and that means when we get out of isolation, we'd be on the front foot and wouldn't need training."
The City of Ballarat's deputy mayor, Belinda Coates, is a staunch supporter for survivors.
She said council remained "100 per cent" behind the project and its opportunities for people to get involved.
"Whether it's familial, childhood, adulthood abuse, whether it's supporters, it's pretty broad and recognises people who have spoken out in the past, and there's people continuing to speak out," she said.
"It's a unique project, I'm not aware of anything similar from a city-wide project that's similar to this, and it's different to other public space or public art projects that the City of Ballarat has done.
"It's been very much as a result of the deep trauma that's affected so many in the Ballarat community.
"We're taking a compassionate but creative approach in supporting people and making it an ongoing way to be supportive and inclusive."
Affected by this story? There is help available.
You can phone the Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault, in Sebastopol, on 5320 3933, or free-call the crisis care line 24 hours on 1800 806 292. Or phone Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Blue Knot Foundation on 1300 657 380, or Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277.
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