one thousand words is a new creative project by Zero Tolerance and ourselves in collaboration with survivors of domestic abuse.
The project is a collection of 15 powerful photos of models taken by acclaimed photographer and storyteller Laura Dodsworth based on the words and experiences of women who have lived through domestic abuse.
The images created are unique; contrary to most depictions of domestic abuse they do not show bruises, or physical violence. Inspired by Scotland’s new Domestic Abuse Bill, these images are a critical step forward in raising awareness that domestic abuse is far more than physical violence. In creating these images the survivors, charities and photographer hope that women will recognise their own experiences and seek the support that is available.
On the importance of creating new images of domestic abuse, one survivor said:
“I spent a long time denying to myself I was actually being abused. It took me four years to recognise my situation.
“Bruises are the standard thing in photos of domestic abuse. There’s a theme that it looks like the man is getting angry and losing control, but often the abuser is very much in control. Abuse is also emotional, financial, verbal and being isolated. If photographs always show hitting or bruises it means that men who don’t hit absolve themselves of the label abuser because they don’t leave bruises. Also it makes people think that if a woman doesn’t have bruises she must be OK.”
At Scottish Women’s Aid we regularly hear about women who question whether their experience counts as abuse – they have no black eye, they have no burst lip.
one thousand words is important, because we desperately want people to know that there is no hierarchy when it comes to abuse; whether it’s controlling behaviour, threats, humiliation, sexual or physical violence – it all ‘counts’ and it is all real abuse.