Returning home for the holidays can be triggering. With this in mind, queer and trans multimedia artist Lexie Bean wrote the short film A Scavenger Hunt for People Loneliest in Their Own Homes. The award-winning poetry film was created as a resource and “guide back to self” for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence who are returning to families and familiar spaces, and may be in need of extra care and support.
While doing an interview with RAINN, the largest anti-sexual assault non-profit in America, Lexie was asked whether they had any words of hope for young survivors who have had to quarantine at home with their abusers during the pandemic. Lexie’s answer to this question was explored further through the 18 steps of A Scavenger Hunt for People Loneliest in Their Own Homes.
[Editor’s Note: Lexie has previously written for Teen Vogue.]
“In my experience of working for a rape crisis hotline … many people are re-traumatized returning to families and familiar spaces,” Lexie tells Teen Vogue. “Household objects can witness, ground, and literally offer reflections when they are needed most. Finding them, even with my eyes closed, was a survival skill I used when staying in lonely homes for years too long.”
As the holiday season steadily approaches, the short film and animated video collage is a unique resource that can offer solace to young survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault — while also spotlighting issues that are too prevalent to remain taboo.
According to RAINN, 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys are sexually abused before they are 18 years old. Among the cases of child sexual abuse that are reported to law enforcement, RAINN reports that 93% of the perpetrators are known to the victim, and 34% are family members. Though such a common experience, survivors can often feel isolated and silenced by stigma and fear.
A Scavenger Hunt for People Loneliest in Their Own Homes has been honored at festivals around the world, and is based on Lexie’s own experiences growing up queer, trans, and a survivor in the Midwest, experiences they have processed through their art.
“Our performance is first and foremost a resource for people who are isolated in unsupportive homes,” says director Daniel Lobb. “It presents self-preservation strategies to those who rely on media and imagination to withstand potentially abusive environments… These iterations of inspiration and reformation ultimately led us to a video collage and sound-score that seek to buoy the main text: an ode to imagination, a scavenger hunt, a survival guide.”
“Our hope is to bolster the viewer’s capacity for imaginative resilience,” Lobb adds.
Watch A Scavenger Hunt for People Loneliest in Their Own Homes below.
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