Every Woman I Know
This is an ongoing portrait-based documentary project where I intend to photograph every woman I know who has been a victim of sexual assault or violence. In these exceedingly hostile times, the voices of women need to be echoed more than ever, and our stories need to be heard. When we can elect a man who openly admits his disdain for consent as our nation's leader, or when we need over 30 women to come forward with accusations before we doubt the credibility and character of a beloved comedian, we exhibit an obscene failure to listen to and believe women's stories. In response to this callous ignorance, I have begun reaching out to all the women in my life who have suffered sexually-based violence, and inviting them to participate in a project that I hope will show just how pervasive this cultural problem is in our society, and that women across all manner of spectrums are constantly affected by it. Everyone who participates is photographed anonymously, and those who elect to have a public portrait done are photographed both ways.
By standing together, we can change the perception that this is not a serious or frequent issue and bring attention to how necessary a shift is in our society's values regarding women and our place in it. An important side note: while the majority of the women here are in their 20s/caucasian/straight, this problem greatly affects the LGBTQIA community, the disabled community, and women of color in a much higher proportion than white women (and it should also be noted that this issue effects men more often than we realize as well and needs to be treated just as seriously). While I can only photograph those who agree to participate and those that I actually know, I feel it is important to highlight the fact that this collection still does not encompass a truly diverse representation of the problem on a grand scale. Roughly 35 women in my life have expressed a desire to participate in the project so far; these are the first 10 photographed.