As a class we went to this gallery on campus were we looked at Donna Ferrato’s photography which looks at domestic violence. Ferrato’s pictures and event in the gallery is called “I AM UNBEATABLE”. Ferrato started “I AM UNBEATABLE because it aims to educate through photography to understand the dangers associated with domestic violence. To recognize the warning signs. To know that love has nothing to do with violence.”(http://www.iamunbeatable.com). This video above shares many of the photographs taken by Ferrato and shares some stories and statistics about domestic violence.
Her first series of work looks at domestic violence many of these pictures were really hard to look at. At this gallery two photographs really stood out to me from her first line of work and both of these are shown in the video above.
The first photograph is the one of the little boy telling his dad “no for hitting his mother”. This really stood out to me one because he was able to stick up to his dad about how he feels about him hitting his mom. The second thing was that they looked at what he is doing now and he is a successful barber that is doing women’s hair. I thought it was very empowering that he made sure he wouldn’t do domestic violence even though he grew up watching it as a young boy.
The second photographs called “Garth and Lisa: in the Bathroom” and its is in multiple different shots of Garth hitting Lisa. In this photograph you notice many things when really examining it. One thing that just gives me the chills is the fact that Garth is continuing to hit Lisa even though Ferrato is taking pictures it doesn’t make him even think about stopping. The second thing is that due to them being in the bathroom you notice the facial expressions of both people and can examine that is going on through many different angles. Looking at Garth’s face can just give someone the chills because he seems so intense, while Lisa looks so helpless.
Her second series of work looks at a woman named Sarah and her family, this series is called Sarah’s World. This series looks at Sarah and shares her story. Sarah got pregnant at the age of 13 and moved in with the boyfriend and his family. The boyfriend made her drop out of school because she was having his child. Sarah ended up having another son with her boyfriend while experiencing all this abuse which lasted for about 12 years. She then got enough of it and left him because she knew that it was best for her two boys. The video we watched pointed out that around the age of 12 boys start to copy and follow in their fathers footsteps and these boys are a good example of this. I say this because the two boys said that if they were in that environment a few years longer they would be drinking, shooting guns, and taking after their father. I believe this series can really give many women and families hope when it comes to getting out of domestic violence. I say and believe this because Sarah is now taking care of her children by herself and not having to worry about them growing up seeing domestic violence every day and the fact that she will be alive and healthy to see her two sons grow up.
Some statistics that really surprised me was something like that every 18 months we lose more or the same amount of people to domestic violence as we did when the twin towers went down. Another statistic that I found very shocking is when I was doing research on domestic violence. This statistic stated that “Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes” (http://www.safehorizon.org/page/domestic-violence-statistics–facts-52.html).
Something I feel everyone needs to know when it comes to domestic violence is the definition. The definition for domestic violence is “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person” (http://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence). It is important for people to know that domestic violence is not just physical abuse but it is also emotional, sexual, and psychological. The other important thing to remember is that domestic violence doesn’t affect just one race or gender. It can affect African Americans, Asians, Whites, homosexual couples, heterosexual coupes, dating couples, cohabiting couples, and married couples. It is important to remember this so as a society and country we can bring awareness and knowledge to people so we can fight to end domestic violence.
Before really looking into domestic violence and listening to the discussion we had during class I truthfully was always that person that would say why wouldn’t the woman take the kids and leave. But after doing the research and listening and seeing Ferrato’s work I understand why it is so difficult. There are many other factors that work in. One being fear and another being the fact that they may not have any other places alone. Also the simple fact that no one actually chooses to be apart of domestic violence.
Recently in the news that goes along with domestic violence would be the Ray Rice beating his fiancé. For you who haven’t seen this the link is below:
The video is sickening and crazy, right? Something that shocks me about this is the fact that the fiancé stuck with him saying that it was their business at a press conference. I know many people are thinking why would she stick with him this video getting out is her way out. Many people think she is in it maybe just for the perks and money but truthfully none of us know the true answer. Hopefully Ferrato’s series will bring awareness and knowledge to everyone especially people experiencing domestic violence and encourage them to get out of their situations.