MURFREESBORO — Survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence will express themselves through creative writing thanks to an intriguing MTSU endeavor.
The Lavinia Project will conduct an end-of-semester reading of original literature and live music at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at Just Love Coffee Roasters, 129 E. MTCS Road in Murfreesboro. This event is free and open to the public.
Matthew Brown, a lecturer in the Department of English, started the Lavinia Project in conjunction with an MTSU student after conducting workshops at a local women’s and children’s crisis center.
The project’s Facebook page states, “The ultimate goal or mission of The Lavinia Project is to use writing and the arts to humanize and legitimize the experiences of survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and thus to begin to tilt the discussion that surrounds these issues toward prevention and deterrence of abusive behavior.”
Brown, a published poet, is co-founder of Writers’ Corps, a group of student-veterans who publish their personal expressions in an annual literary magazine called DMZ. In working with the veterans, he realized that writing poems, essays and short stories had a therapeutic effect for many of them.
“I found that much of my research while composing my dissertation on the psychological, physiological, neurocognitive and social effects of trauma, as well as the benefits of expressive writing therapy, that the heart of the research in this field lies in the domain of studying rape,” said Brown.