In South Africa: One out of four women is beaten regularly by her intimate partner.
One woman is killed every six days by her intimate partner. One woman is raped every 26 seconds.
My project focuses on women who are Survivors of Domestic Violence in South Africa. I worked closely with organizations that shelter and assist women who have been abused.
The women I photographed were very courageous. Poverty is rife in South Africa and many women rely on their partners for financial support, making it difficult to walk away. Nonetheless, these women have managed to leave their abusive relationships.
The women I photographed were also willing to make their stories public. For some, making these portraits was part of the healing process; for others, the stories were an attempt to save other women.
The more these issues are discussed openly, the more women will no longer be willing to tolerate abuse. By leaving, they not only liberate themselves, but make it acceptable and a little easier for other women to escape.
By speaking out about their experiences and sharing their stories, these women have exposed the unacceptable abuse that exists in relationships. I believe that each time this work is seen it opens a door through which another victim can walk to safety.
This is not just a South African story.