Only under certain circumstances does Innovative Resources permit the reproduction of images from our card sets like those displayed in the picture book, Smarty Pants, Kitty or Tiger? Nicole Rotaru from McAuley Community Services for Women approached us and explained the amazing work she was documenting, and requested our permission to use some of our bears and dinosaurs. Nicole explained that one place children experiencing family violence can be given a voice is through their art. Smarty Pants, Kitty or Tiger? is a wonderful representation of children’s voices and we were thrilled to be at the launch back in October 2017.
The following excerpt from an article published by McAuley Community Services places the book in the context of family violence:
Smarty Pants, Kitty or Tiger? gives a first-hand, intimate, disturbing, and sometimes hopeful insight into living within family violence. In this book women and children who have lived within family violence give voice to their experience through art and story as part of a creative arts project at McAuley Community Services for Women’s safe house.
This book was developed to give people, young and old, a greater understanding of the impact of family violence on women and children. We hope, through an understanding of the lived experience of family violence and an awareness of its many manifestations, that as a society we will continue to come to grips with its shocking reality.
Family violence is a crime. Family violence thrives in silence.
These brave, resilient women and children have spoken loudly through their images and stories. Lindy exclaims, ‘He had his hands around my neck. I thought I was going to die. Oh my gosh today is the day I will become a statistic – another woman killed!’ David says, ‘There are a lot of baddies coming.’ Ella utters, ‘Tiger is looking at a deer or elk. He’s going to catch his prey. He’s going to tear it apart.’
We must listen to these women and children. They are telling us about the fear and threat that family violence is. Their voices are a powerful guide to the ongoing development of policies and practices that create, promote and sustain a safe community for us all. As we look at the images and read the unedited stories let’s stand up and say ‘No!’ to family violence. http://www.mcauleycsw.org.au/latest-news/launch-of-smarty-pants-kitty-or-tiger
This isn’t the first time that Innovative Resources and Nicole have crossed paths. Nicole has spent many days, weeks and months working with children in vulnerable communities overseas, and we have featured her in earlier editions of SOON. The most recent was in April 2015, and we have reproduced this article ‘Topping the list with LOVE’ for further reading.
One of the most inspirational things about Nicole is that she gives so much, often in the most challenging of circumstances, and yet she always says how much she receives and learns from the people she meets. Thank you, Nicole, for all that you do. If you are the lucky one, then the people you work with are most truly blessed!
You can purchase Smarty Pants, Kitty or Tiger? by following this link.