Documenting domestic violence: ‘I am here, I am watching and I have a camera’
Posted by Angel Rodrigues
What an incredible journey this photographer was able to document. This all too common problem of young relationships that fall apart and the troubled replacement relationship that leaves a single mom alone, without income, housing and a way to provide. Unable to do any of these in the immediate they turn back to a former man that took care of them. Never learning from the incidents but constantly chasing prince charming. Snow White, Cinderella, so on and so on. Women who feel they can’t be alone and can’t care for themselves have so much work to do on themselves and they are in such a panic, survival mode that they never stop that abuse cycle and work on themselves. They can’t see how. They can’t think about self improvement when they are hungry,lost, scared and the kids are crying. Breaking this cycle is a very deep and challenging one. Especially if they end up in a relationship where an abusive partner won’t allow the woman to improve herself. If she even remotely seems like she is going to improve herself, then she will leave him and they put a stop to it. Women in these situations need to find friends who care, to take them in long enough to allow the woman to get a degree, or even a certificate to get a job and stability in life. If that friend doesn’t exist then there are emergency social services available. Pride usually prevents them from acting upon any of these. These women have to see the long term picture, their children. Like Maggie said in one of these photo’s, she doesn’t want her daughter to grow up and think it is okay to let any man treat her like that. Her daughter saw the abuse. Luckily for her, she saw her mother leave. Not all women do. Look at these photographs and feel the pain of the children, of Maggie, even the men. These people are very common. This situation is very common. The solutions, not so much.
If you have a friend, if you are the one in this situation, there is help. Find a friend to help, a family member, social services, a church, Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul, the list goes on. There are agencies in place to help. Emergency food stamps, money and housing. Pride doesn’t keep you warm, a roof over your head, fill the stomach of your children. Stop the cycle! Get help!