A 6-year-old girl crying into the phone, begging police to stop her drunk stepfather from beating her mother and dropping her baby brother.
An 8-year-old boy being awakened in the night by the sound of his growling stomach.
These are just some of the stories that The Lisa Project, located in the parking lot of First Baptist Church on Mills Avenue, tells to visitors as they pass through the exhibit.
The Lisa Project is a portable display of how child abuse affects children of all ages, and ways it can be remedied. Everything about the exhibit, which will run from Friday until June 30, is based on real cases.
The 25-minute tour touches every part of the senses. Burned oregano replicates the smell of used marijuana joints in one room. Two rubber ducks bob up and down in a half-full bathtub in another.
Each section of the tour tells a child's story of how they were abused. All of the children, save one, are from San Joaquin County. The project was named for one of them.
Though the children's names have been changed to protect their identity, their harrowing tales of survival are very real.
One boy, "Michael," tells the tale of how he tries not to anger his mother because she works three jobs and often comes home upset. He says he tries to be a good boy, but you can still hear his mother screaming at him in the background, only stopping to slap him in between sentences.
Another girl is taught by her mother to cover up her father's physical abuse through makeup and a quiet demeanor. You would never suspect the girl to be a victim of abuse, based on the appearance of her bedroom. The room is a light pink, with white furniture and a twin bed, covered by a flowery duvet.
But everyone has a story, said program coordinator Gene Hardin.
Hardin, who started the exhibit in 2010 in Stockton, said that in the 10 cities the moving Lisa Project portable has visited, the exhibit has seen roughly 35,000 visitors.
Hardin and his wife had just finished visiting the King Tut exhibit in San Francisco in late 2009 when he walked outside and asked why the same kind of exhibit could not be done to raise awareness for child abuse.
His wife told him to "get on it," and by early 2010 a plan had been set in motion. In April 2010, the first exhibit debuted in Stockton, bringing in 5,000 visitors in the month it was open.
This is the first time the exhibit will appear in Lodi.
It brings tears and it brings anger, Hardin said. But it also encourages those who have been or are currently being abused to come forward.
"We have people come forward all the time; not necessarily here, but after they have been in the exhibit to tell us of their situation," Hardin said. "We are here to help. That is what we are hoping to do."
The Lisa Project exhibit opens Friday at 4 p.m. The exhibit is located at 267 N. Mills Ave. in Lodi. Admission is free, but the exhibit has been rated "PG-13" due to its content.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at email@example.com.