Every once in a while we get invited to photographically collaborate in a cause and Charity work that we feel warrants our time and attention. Recently, we have done, and will continue to support and help to highlight the difficult and often ignored subject of domestic violence.
We had the pleasure of meeting Jane Evans a good few months ago who we began to chat with as she was (and still is) very knowledgeable about social media, particularly Twitter. As we got to know Jane, we realised that she had a commitment, passion and a drive to improve the wellbeing of those unfortunate enough to find themselves in abusive and often violent relationships. Particularly the aftermath and parenting aspects of these terrible situations.
Jane has a background in working with families with a range of complex needs. She is a children’s author, has created and delivers training on how parenting and children are affected by exposure to trauma, such as domestic violence and abuse and has devised a bespoke trauma focused parenting programme. We approached Jane and offered our services to develop a series of photographs that would assist her in her work and to also help to raise awareness generally around the impact of domestic violence and abuse and to send the message that there is a way forward and that others do understand and can help.
After a discussion we decided that as Jane already produces some very powerful and important poetry about the effects and aftermath of domestic violence and abuse, we should try to capture specific phrases and words from these poems pictorially (see http://janeevansparenting.blogspot.co.uk/). I decided that the images should try to portray the words, sometimes literally and sometimes in a more conceptual manner. The approach would need to be sympathetic but we shouldn’t shirk the responsibility of making them grim and unpleasant to view if that were necessary.
We have now completed the first two images and we hope that we are starting to achieve our aims. The photographs viewed alone will spark no reaction in some and deep thought in others. Together with the poetic quotation it should at least encourage the viewer to think about what they are seeing and also realise the massive damage these relationships can do to adults and children connected to them.
It should also be pointed out that all images are heavily supervised by Jane and that all models (and/or parents) are aware of the use and understand the context within which the images are being made.
1 in 4 women in the UK will suffer some form of Domestic Violence in their lifetime. One incident of Domestic Violence is reported to the Police in the UK every minute of every day. Two women a week are killed by a former or current male partner (Stats from Womens Aid UK).