Across the globe, more than a third of women have been affected by physical or sexual violence, according to a 2013 WHO report, but those figures may be even higher considering victims’ reluctance to report such crimes. One-third of women in 33 developing countries say they can’t refuse sex with their partners, the World Bank reported. Intimate partner violence is more prevalent in impoverished households, but women with stable economic footing are better able to withstand such injustice. In honor of sexual assault awareness month, I wanted to present photography from four powerful campaigns that raise awareness for sexual abuse.
Here is a set of photos taken by Liora K Photography out of Tucson AZ which display everyday women with a message written on their body, which she calls her “feminist shoots.”
"Why on an exposed part of a woman's body? Because we can… and to make a point that our bodies are exactly that – OUR bodies – not the government's, not society's or religion's."
The Brief Message Campaign
According to the World Health Organization, 35 percent of women have experienced a form of violence in their lifetime. Because of this, artist Alexsandro Palombo wanted to give women a voice. To speak out against such widespread abuse, advocates are sharing powerful messages written on their underwear called the #BriefMessage campaign. Palombo put a call out to ask women to express their messages against violence.
SlutWalk is a transnational movement of protest marches calling for an end to rape culture. Participants protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman's appearance.
The rallies began on April 3, 2011, in Toronto, Canada, after a Toronto Police officer suggested that "women should avoid dressing like sluts" as a precaution against sexual assault. Many more rallies have occurred globally including New York, London, Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, South Korea, India, and Singapore.
A 19-year-old photography student at the School for Visual Arts has embarked on a project designed to give a voice back to victims of sexual assaults by empowering them with the words of their attackers back in 2011. Since, she has captured images hundreds of sexual assault victims.
Grace Brown uses photos of sexual assault victims holding cards with things their attackers said to them in an effort to raise awareness of the issues victims of sexual assault face both during and after the crime. One of the most powerful points of this campaign was to focus equally on male victims as well as women.