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Student's Powerful Artwork Reveals Lasting Impact Of Sexual Assault

01/26/2017 11:18 EST

A 19-year-old student has created a moving depiction of sexual assault and its lasting effects on the body.

Emma Krenzer, who attends Nebraska Wesleyan University, was given an art assignment to create a map of something. Wanting to challenge herself, the teen created a map of the human body in relation to sexual assault.

She shared the results of her project on Twitter, writing: “The prompt for this project was to create some sort of map. I created a map of human touch on another humans [sic] body and it’s [sic] lasting impact.”

Krenzer’s art shows a nude female body covered in different coloured handprints. The various colours represent the touches of different people. Yellow, for instance, represents friends, while red represents “someone I told no.”

The teen told Buzzfeed that she created the life-size artwork by taking a photo of her friend, printing it out and finger painting over it.

I made this project largely for myself to actually visualize the lasting impact that touch can have on an individual,” she told the site. “I thought about what was true for myself, and also, what I perceived to be commonly true for people in general, when I mapped out these touches.”

Krenzer finished her project the day she came home from the Women's March on Washington and felt compelled to share it.

Since posting it on Twitter, her work has gone viral with more than 126,000 retweets. Many Twitter users commented on how deeply moved they were by the image.

In fact, some were so overwhelmed by Krenzer’s art that the teen told Buzzfeed, “Some people told me they burst into tears after viewing the piece.”

Krenzer’s art has touched so many people because not only does it shed light on the lasting impact of sexual assault, but it emphasizes the importance of consent.

Sexual assault is more common than most people think. According to Sexassault.ca, one in four North American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime and 80 per cent of aggressors are friends or family.

Additionally, sexual assault has become an increasingly important topic of discussion ever since Donald Trump’s lewd comments in a 2005 audio recording made the rounds on the Internet. In the recording, Trump talked about sexually assaulting women, saying “grab them by the pussy.”

Never before has a discussion about sexual assault and consent been more needed than now, and Krenzer’s artwork has been a powerful purveyor to keep the conversation going.

Also on HuffPost

The Consent Project