Jenna, 20, Ames:
“I don’t care if talking about it makes someone uncomfortable. What’s uncomfortable is being raped. So you can get over yourself and have a conversation about something. People don’t want me to be angry about it. They don’t want me to yell. But if you wanted me to not yell, then you should have listened the first time. If you don’t want me to be angry, then you should have taken me seriously when I was calm.”
Jenna, 20, Ames: “I don’t care if talking about it makes someone uncomfortable. What’s uncomfortable is being raped. So you can get over yourself and have a conversation about something. People don’t want me to be angry about it. They don’t want me to yell. But if you wanted me to not yell, then you should have listened the first time. If you don’t want me to be angry, then you should have taken me seriously when I was calm.”

April 23, 2018

In the Carroll area, there’s a 13-year-old girl who flinches at her classmates’ rape jokes because they remind her of being sexually abused when she was young.

There’s a woman who was raped at knifepoint and barely escaped with her life.

There’s a young man who is navigating what it means to be a male survivor of sexual assault in a society that doesn’t always acknowledge their experiences.

Their stories and more are being told through a new photo project, “Every 98 Seconds,” which features sexual assault survivors in western Iowa, allowing them to share their experiences in their own words and on their terms.

This project is being released in April to coincide with Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Rooted in the fact that every 98 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the project puts a local face to the survivors of some of those assaults.

The photo project is the third of its type completed by Rebecca McKinsey, a reporter at the Carroll Daily Times Herald, and Jacob Fiscus, owner of the Photography by Fiscus studio in Carroll. Both share a desire to complete personal projects that tell specific populations’ stories in a compelling way. Previous projects touched on library use and old age.

Every 98 Seconds” features 13 western Iowa residents who either have been sexually assaulted or are parents of children who were assaulted. Participants share their stories, detail the aftermath of the assaults, discuss the #metoo movement and speak directly to other survivors. The subjects range from a 13-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy to a 53-year-old woman. Some names have been changed.

Through this project, McKinsey and Fiscus explore a national problem through a rural Midwestern lens, putting a face to the issue and reminding viewers that sexual assault isn’t just something you see on TV — it can happen, and has happened, to your neighbors, friends or family members. They also hope the project reaches other survivors who haven’t vocalized their experiences and shows them they’re not alone.

The photos and extended interviews will be featured during an open house from 5-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 26 and 27, at the Photography by Fiscus studio, located at 507 N. Main St. in Carroll. Beverages and snacks will be available, with an optional free-will donation.

“Every 98 Seconds” is published in full online at www.thefacesofiowa.com.

Viewers should be aware that these interviews address sexual assault, domestic violence, mental illness, suicide and abortion. The material includes graphic descriptions of assault and strong language and could be triggering to some survivors of abuse.

Julie Gore, an advocate with the Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault, will be available at the open houses to offer support, answer questions and share resources.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, resources are available, including:

— Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault, a Carroll-area organization: www.caasaonline.org, 712-792-6722.

— Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: www.rainn.org, 1-800-656-4673.

End Rape on Campus: www.endrapeoncampus.org, 424-777-3762.