The "Lotus in Bloom" art installation at the Strafford County Family Justice Center in Rochester is complete.

There was an invitation-only event held to reveal the installation at the center's office located inside the James W. Foley Memorial Community Center on Wakefield Street last week.

"We had one of our survivors/artists attend and she said at one point, 'I feel safe here.' There is no better feedback than that," said Director Amanda Vachon.

Vachon and others at the center asked survivors to contribute to the project and chose the lotus flower - which has petals that open one by one - because it grows in mud.

Courtesy of Amanda Vachon

National statistics show that 80 to 90 percent of sexual assault victims know their perpetrator and 40 to 45 percent of women in abusive relationships are sexually assaulted by their partners.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, sent a letter to the center thanking them and their partner, HAVEN, for the installation. She thanked the artists as well.

"Together, we send a powerful message to survivors: You do have a community of support. We do care about you. And if you choose to come forward, we're going to do everything we can to ensure that you are treated with compassion, dignity and fairness," Shaheen wrote.

If you are a survivor in need of support, the local crisis line phone number is 603-994-7233. The statewide crisis line is 1-866-644-3574.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.

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