The collection of inspiring photos by Dona Ferrato was a completely eye opening experience for me. I have known people close to me who have experienced abuse by a family member. They had to struggle to escape and find a new safe place to live. Ferrato’s original pictures were the most moving to me because you it showed the violence in everyday life. It made it all too real to see the expression on both of their faces as the abuse is occurring. So often it is easy to ignore what is going on and tell women to “just leave.” Ferrato’s later pictures express the horror that occur when a people try and escape those situations, 75% of murders in domestic assault cases happen after the victim leaves. Sometimes it is harder to leave than it is too stay because of so many unknowns that you face by walking away. How can we expect women to be ready to leave when the court systems make it so hard for women to finally have control over their own lives?
Men try and use physical power over women in order to have control; “men, as the dominant gender, use violence as a means to obtain and sustain power over women”(p.47). This was made all too real in the images displayed across the gallery. This degredaradtion of women and gender norms of women aid to the belief that men can control women. Women are seen as fragile, while men are supposed to be dominant and masculine. Rape culture in the media doesn’t help this either. The fact that boys see even their idols like Chris Brown and Ray Rice engaging in domestic assault causes males from a young age to accept that these things happen all around them. Due to this societal expectation the cycle of violence too often is continued and gone unnoticed. Every 18 months as many people die from abuse as did in 911 and yet it as many organizations try aid the cause, it is not seen as a huge public issue. As a society, why haven’t we not been more keen on addressing this issue when so many people are dying?