Anna Caroline Jennings (1960 - 1992)

Anna Jennings was sexually abused when she was less than three years old. This was the first of several abuses that occurred over her lifetime, and put a confused, frightened child into a mental health system that neither recognized nor treated Anna's real problem. Diagnosed "schizophrenic".. she was institutionalized for more than 12 years from age 15 to 32. Although she attempted to communicate the "awful things" that had happened to her, there was no one to listen, understand or help her. She took her life on October 24, 1992, on a back ward of a state mental hospital.

Anna expressed her abuse vividly and poignantly through her sketches, oil paintings and water colors {see gallery}. Although she had no formal art training, her work is stark, sophisticated and haunting. Her work has been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, in many hospitals and at numerous conferences across the country.

Both women and men with histories of trauma are commonly misdiagnosed and retraumatized by wrongful treatment {see articles}. Such maltreatment exacerbates their condition and perpetuates their need for costly emergency, acute and long term mental health services. Anna's hospitalization alone cost $2,639,360.00. This misuse of taxpayers' money and perpetuation of human tragedy must no longer be allowed to continue.


This powerful, moving and aesthetically beautiful video was created by Susan Salasin, in collaboration with Andy Blanch and Joan Gillece of NCTIC (National Center for Trauma Informed Care), and Leah Harris of NEC (National Empowerment Center). Susan is a pioneer in the area of women, violence prevention and trauma.  Her commitment and determination during 40 years with SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration) and her continuing work are keeping trauma on the public mental health agenda. Anna Caroline Jennings’ artwork and story of childhood sexual abuse and years in the mental health system, are used throughout this video to great effect, and also with great love.  The trauma-informed care movement is steadily gaining momentum, ending the historical silence surrounding childhood trauma and offering hope and healing for thousands of individuals with stories similar to Anna’s.






We ask your support to maintain and continually upgrade this website as well as provide funds to have Anna's art work preserved and reproduced to create a traveling exhibit of her paintings, writings and story. The Anna Insitute is a legal non profit entity and all donations are Tax deductible. Remit check or money order to The Anna Institute, 21 Ocean St. Rockland Me. 04841, or use PayPal by Clicking Donate Button. Thank You