This might be long… please, stay with me.
Read the words. View the images. Share this post. Talk. Continue the dialogue. Please.
Today marks the first of 16 Days of Activism for the UN Women’s movement and their campaign, Orange The World, which aims to bring awareness to and erradicate gender-based and domestic violence worldwide. From November 25th til December 10th, 2017, you can join them in their mission. Talk about it. Share it. Bring the conversation to your table…I will, too.
I created this photo essay specifically for the Orange The World Campaign. This is my perspective of domestic violence. It may not be yours. Every gender-based and domestic-violence-based scenario is unique to the victim. This is a general scenario, but is not meant to generalize.
I have wrapped my arms around women who have made the call for help. I have sat, knee to knee and their palms rested in mine, with women as they struggle to find their own peace. I have sat in the courtroom as they’ve shared her trauma while their abuser looks on. I have listened to story after story, patiently hearing their words muddled with their tears as they summon the courage to define their boundaries and declare their own truth…
“This is not okay.”
Domestic violence is a GLOBAL issue. But it starts at home, with us. In our conversations with our daughters. With our sons. Trying our best to model behaviors that pave the way for them to become kind lovers, respectful spouses, patient parents, loving humans.
This nine-image essay is meant to depict several stages of a journey.
The abuse of a mother. The loneliness she feels in her confinement. The child who can’t do anything but love her mother in support from the sidelines. The feeling that even if she DID call for help, nobody would hear her call. The intervention by first responders who have their hearts broken every time they receieve an emergent call for help.
The final realization that she’s done it…she’s risen to the surface of the anguish, only to find that her child is still there to support her. In resolve, holding her daughter in a posture of rescue and support, because SHE is now the leader. SHE is the one responsbile for the safety and well-being of her child. She is strong. She will model a life of strength, courage, and bravery for her child. In an ideal world, the cycle will be broken. Hope and healing will be on the horizon.
If you’re still with me, thank you for reading. If this photographic essay resonates with you, please feel free to share it.
If you are the victim of domestic violence, please reach out to your local domestic abuse services and begin the path to healing.
It’s not okay. You are enough. You are worth it. You deserve better.
Please follow the next 16 days and beyond through these links.