A group of Queensland songwriters who have experienced sexual violence embarked on a journey to put their personal stories into song, creating the “You Can’t Take Me” Album and an Official Music Video for the title track.

The five songwriters Deb Suckling, Melissa J Evans, Kendall Layt, Kali Blunt, Ilona Harker and visual artist Marsellus Wallace came together to share their stories with the assistance of counsellor Jan Logan, and created the songs to highlight the extent of sexual violence in our diverse communities. They also looked at how music and creation can assist in recovery and how speaking up about trauma can be the most important step in the road to recovery and taking back ownership of ourselves, our bodies and our minds.

Recorded over just two days – with the support of engineer Jeff Lovejoy and mastering by Paul Blakey – the group have created an album that is truly raw in all its musical truth. The group also worked with other people who have experienced sexual violence who wished to use song to express their journey but also remain anonymous. Over a period of a couple of months – they shared their stories – sang together, wrote together and created the songs that you can now hear. In Queensland – October is Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

The project was supported by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women as part of their Sexual Violence Prevention Grants program and Backbone Youth Arts.  The album is available for free streaming, with donations encouraged to Women’s Legal Service.

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