2016 - 2017
Malmö, Skåne, Sweden
In 2015 I started volunteering at a women’s shelter in Sweden. This experience gave me knowledge of how common domestic violence is and that prejudices regarding typical victims or perpetrators are often false. People from all classes, with various ethnicities and in all ages seek help continuously and statistics show that 1 in 4 women in Sweden, as well as in the UK, will be affected. It is time that we talk openly about this issue.
For this series, I used other volunteers at the shelter as models and two makeup artists recreated wounds we had seen on victims of domestic abuse. This decision was made due to the safety risks of showing faces of real victims. However, it was important to me that the models had been in close contact with domestic violence, to avoid a theatrical feeling and to get as close to the reality as possible. I wanted to tell the stories of millions of women who are forced into silence, women who can not tell their own story due to threats.
The first step to prevent domestic violence is to acknowledge the problem. It is important to question our prejudices and vocabulary. The consequences otherwise will be that women who differ from the image of a typical victim, or have a partner that contradicts the idea of a typical perpetrator, will not be believed when finally having the courage to tell their story. From my experience women who are affected by domestic violence tend to be grateful that their struggle is finally mentioned, and that we should not fear talking about it. My aim with this series is to contribute to opening conversations, and thereby spreading awareness of this societal issue.