In class on Tuesday, October 14th 2014, I visited the fine arts gallery on Vanderbilt’s campus. The current exhibition is a collection of photographs labeled, I Am Unbeatable. The photographer, Donna Ferrato, has created a campaign against domestic violence. She has always been a social activist, as she has been photographing abused women and domestic violence for years. Her photographs all tell a story and hopefully will encourage women to stand up for themselves.
Donna Ferrato’s newest work, I Am Unbeatable, is about the life of a young woman named Sarah. When she was thirteen years old, her current boyfriend at the age of eighteen, forced Sarah to move away from her family. She left her home, friends, and family to go move in with him and start a family. After he pressured her into having sex with him, she became pregnant with her first son. Sarah continued on to have another son, meanwhile staying in an abusive relationship. Her boyfriend would beat her for just about anything—changing her hair color, getting a new ear piercing, or for no reason at all. He would also beat up Sarah’s two boys. Eventually, after Sarah’s boyfriend sat on top of her, punching her face so horribly that he broke her jaw, she decided to run. She took her boys and left the abusive relationship for good.
Domestic violence is something that continues to astonish me everyday. I think it’s impossible for anybody to comprehend it at all. One of the saddest things is that Sarah’s two sons thought it was normal that their father beat them and his mother up—they didn’t know anything better. When people become involved in abusive relationships, there often seems to be no escape. It becomes what is normal for victims of domestic abuse and it is hard for them to run away from their abuser. Many times, the victim has no place to go because they are solely dependent on their abuser. This exhibition was eye opening. I hope that young women everywhere will hear about it and Sarah’s story. I think it will empower women to speak out and stand up for themselves, their children, and their actual lives. I hope that women everywhere will declare themselves to be “unbeatable” and successfully get away from domestic violence.
“THE STORIES Archives – I AM UNBEATABLE.” I AM UNBEATABLE. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://www.iamunbeatable.com/category/the_stories/>.
“THE STORIES Archives – Page 2 of 2 – I AM UNBEATABLE.” I AM UNBEATABLE. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://www.iamunbeatable.com/category/the_stories/page/2/>.
“Images from Donna Ferrato’s “I Am Unbeatable” at the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery.” Vanderbilt News. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2014/08/ferrato-images/>.