art-angel-gbaAfter a decade of abuse, Ariana turned to Women’s Survival Space for safety.

Ariana, her partner and their three children left Mexico for California more than 10 years ago. Instead of opportunity in a new land, she found violence and abuse. The violence at home was always emotional, but when her partner’s attacks became physical and his drug use threatened their children’s safety, Ariana fled from California to New York City.  It took them three days to cross the country by car, always scared that they would be found, and when they got to New York City they had to sleep outdoors two days before they found safety at Women’s Survival Space.

Ariana’s body still bears the scars of abuse and she has turned to art to help overcome the trauma and emotional scars.

“I started to draw 3 years ago – on March 4th to be exact.  I remember that day because it was a very bad day. I was sitting on a bench crying in the rain.  When it got dark I went into my house and sat in front of the mirror; I could see how hurt I was, yet I didn’t have a thing to say.

“When I picked up a piece of paper and a pencil to write down my feelings, without thinking I started to draw an angel with broken wings.  That was my first drawing.  Once I was done with my drawing I looked at it and I felt so relieved and peaceful.  I draw what I feel – happiness, sadness, anger, or anguish – my drawing has been the best therapy.  It helped me leave the violence in the past.

“I hope that my drawings captivate whoever looks at them, and that they can see that there is always a way out. We can find 10 million ways to express whatever it is that you are feeling.”

‘A Cry for Help’