I read “The Rape of Medusa: Feminist Revision of Medusa in Stanford and DuPlessis” by Lorna Kirby, which retells the story of the origins of Medusa in a Feminist angle. Medusa had previously been a priestess at the temple of Athena and was raped by the god of the sea, Poseidon. Athena thus turned her into a monster with snakes for hair and whose eyes turn people into stone. It is unclear whether this was done as punishment to Medusa or as a way to protect her from this happening ever again. These angles bring to light the culture of victim blaming which includes laws such as marrying your rapist or the culture of putting pressure on females instead of educating men to respect female bodies and their autonomy. Archaeologists theorise that Medusa's head may have been used as a symbol for women's shelters in Ancient Greece. 
My sculpture aims to reimagine Medusa in a contemporary setting with the ability to report her rape and get the help she deserved. 
Sculpey, Cardboard, Wire and Paint
8x9 in ; 20x22 cm 

When a person has been raped, they must get a rape kit conducted within 72 hours of the event happening if they want physical and DNA evidence collected to report their rapist. It is best that they avoid bathing, showering, using the restroom, changing clothes and combing their hair in order for hospitals to collect the evidence. A trained SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) conducts the test and asks the patient for consent at every part of the test. This test includes STI/STD testing, finger nail swabs, photographing physical pain such as bruises, and vaginal and anal swabs. According to SANE nurses I interviewed in the Women's and Children's Clinic in Providence, Rhode Island, the most emotionally draining and triggering part of the exam is the vaginal and anal swabbing test because the patient is forced to relive the physical aspects of their assault. The SANE nurses also recalled that many times, the patient's family brings them into the clinics for testing because they themselves are too scarred, upset or shocked to do so.  Reporting rape is not easy. 
Millions of rape kits go untested in the USA even though hospitals do their best to make the person who was raped feel safe and feel that their case is in good hands. People who report rape can lose their jobs and people of colour are most likely to go ignored when reporting assault. Feminist groups and individuals have been calling out governments to make procedures such as this possible, affordable and accessible. 

Reporting rape and recovering from the trauma needs to always be easy, accessible and safe. 
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