Photographer as Witness – Portrait of Domestic Violence*

Photographer as Witness - Portrait of Domestic Violence

Image and story by Sara Naomi Lewkowicz

Take away the tattoos and felony conviction, add a seemingly normal looking guy and a nice house and car, and you have “the boy” in my story (and probably the one in your story, too).

Read the captions: The way this convicted felon treated the woman’s little boy is exactly how “the boy” treated my son when no one was around (other than me). The reasons for the fights with me were the same, too. Acting jealous and hurt because I wasn’t giving him the love and attention he NEEDED. He was jealous of my son and demanded to be put first, before a little 4-year-old boy! (What? You can’t wipe your own ass, asshole?)

Look closely at the images: Pay attention to the rage in the man’s face and his stance. Contrast and compare that to the fear in the woman’s face and body positioning. The fear and confusion is there even when the physical violence isn’t present. See how he corners her between the counter and stove. And look at the innocent child. (Why force a child to suffer a life like this?)

I admire the photojournalist and hope her project brings much-needed awareness. Her next subjects should be the millionaires down the road, because this happens EVERYWHERE regardless of a family’s economic status or background.

*Thanks to Deliberate Donkey for sharing this earlier today… http://lightbox.time.com/2013/02/27/photographer-as-witness-a-portrait-of-domestic-violence/?iid=lb-gal-viewagn#1

Category:
abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Kids, Tattoo
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Join the conversation! 18 Comments

  1. Why aren’t domestic violence issues talked about in narcissistic sociopath recovery groups? My ex used all forms of violence against me when I questioned him and specifically caught him in his lies. He would literally go nuts, attacking me, physically, with anything and everything he could. I do not hear a lot of talk of this and while I know it is very hard to deal with it is such an important issue of why, once fleeing, not going back. I ran. Barefoot, no coat, 6 inches of snow on the ground to a neighbors for help. He chased after me in his car. He threatened me with harming my family, my son, if I ran. I had to run, he tried to imprison me in the basement after beating the shit out of me and putting holes in the wall with my head by a wads of my hair. Choking me out, trying to crack my ribs. This was far from the first of these attacks. It was however, one of the very last. Thoughts of being imprisoned in that basement terrified me and he was sick enough to do it. He already tried once in the bathroom.Thank Christ my son lived with my ex husband, he would be safe. That, was the first real break up. I did not call the police as I was terrified what he would do to my son and other family. I knew he had weapons. I was really stuck wanting to nail him and yet terrified when they would let him out on bond, the harm he would inflict on my family, all the while he would be smiling thinking how he got me good. God, I could taste his revenge in his sick, twisted mind. Yes, ladies, this was the real man I fell head over heels for. Of course, I had no idea three years before. He was my lover, my soul mate and companion. He was everything I could of wished for! I moved in shortly after we met. It was glorious! Until discrepancies started creeping in. Me,questioning about the other women. Emails, texts. I was the jealous fool, I was crazy, he was perfect, faithful, ever loving partner. Texting on his ipad soon as I left the room. Messages on playstaion, messages on emails. The porn, the fetishes. Christ, how did I believe his lies? His gaslighting and manipulations that’s how. The control and abuse in every form, that s how. The loss of family, friends, jobs, because he kept showing up and calling and saying he was more important, I needed to answer his calls regardless of what the boss said. Than, once fired due to his antics,I was the loser for not having a job. Yup, my soulmate alright. All my money, gone. I couldn’t ask for help, there was no one left to ask. He destroyed my tv in a fight,with a towel rack, ruined my computer, fucked up my car. I was sunk to the absolute lowest level in my life. Mine is not the only story like this, there are many, many more of us out there. It is hard to explain to people, but it needs to be done. Awareness needs to be brought forefront. People are harmed, maimed and murdered due to this disorder of narcissistic sociopathy. It is sick and it is very real. It is not a game and you do not win, Love will not cure this mind. I have read it starts in the front lobe wiring of the brain, it divides and splits. The emotions are at a disconnect before live birth. You cannot cure this disorder. You can only run from those who are aligned with it. Trust me, you cant run fast enough. My charming, handsome life partner turned out to be the devil in disguise, if that even describes the horror that goes on within these minds and eventually within our own lives. To have a mind that lives in that darkness, FOR THE FUN OF IT, for the literal CONTROL of what used to be Your Life. Get away from them as soon as it is the safest for you and just know and be grateful for the fact You weren’t the one born with this disorder. You can and will grow strong and function again, trust me,I did.

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    • Thank you, JP. Many who come here were/are being physically abused. I have published a few posts related to the physical abuse inflicted on me by my abuser at 18 and the escalating physical abuse and control by the sociopath when I was between the ages of 35 and 38. But not all of these types are physical in the torture they inflict. Some are passive aggressive in their control and use other avenues to release their pent up hatred like driving recklessly or dabbling in prostitution or becoming addicted to some type of extreme sport or becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol.

      Regardless of presence of physical violence, domestic violence needs to be understood as any relationship in which control tactics are used by one of the partners to isolate, instill fear, cause anxiety, depression, loss of independence. Domestic violence constitutes control of all types, but they all do not have to be present for one to be in a domestic violence situation/relationship. The presence of any or all of the following should be red flags for people stuck in a toxic relationship too confused to realize what is happening to them: physical, emotional, spiritual, financial.

      I am also a firm believer that these people are born this way and that they can not be fixed or cured. There is no amount of healthy nurturing that can prevent these people from growing up to be adults who cause harm. I also believe they get “better” at duping and fooling people with each person or group of people they lose. With every loss of relationship, they gain a new tactic that will held lure and hold victims longer. They also figure out how to spot those of us who are temporarily compromised due to tragedies like the death of a loved one, a tragic accident, another failed relationship, or any number of things that render us vulnerable due to life and experiences.

      Your physical abuse was abominable! There are many who have lingering health issues stemming from the coupling of physical and emotional abuse that they must live with for the rest of their lives. And not enough people care. 😦

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  2. This is like watching a car wreck, fascinating and sickening. What a help I think it will be to so many who are in this situation. It is amazing he did not turn on the photographer, he obviously felt justified in his mind. I think being the subject of this will help Maggie Mae get the help she needs and I pray her little kids get help as well. Amazing post.

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  3. That was hard for me to watch. My H attacked me in front of the kids 6 weeks ago. The caption where the officer said they won’t stop til they kill….that really hit home, I feared for my life that day and the following days after.I wish to be completely rid of him.

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    • Goddess,
      I know you know that you must leave him. But we both know it’s not always as simple as walking out the door, especially when children are involved and require protection. Have you started planning your exit? I am so sorry you went through what you went through 6 weeks ago and don’t want you to go through it again.

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  4. I’m amazed he did this in front of a camera! They usually hide it better.

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    • I thought about that, too. But then realized the photographer was a woman. He probably enjoyed being on stage, so to say, and to have another woman fear him. Many people comented on the actual story about why the photographer didn’t step in to help. I don’t think it would have been smart or courageous of her to do so. He could easily have grabbed a knife or harmed the photographer also. I do think she should have been the one to dial 911 first if the other members of the house were not at home.

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  5. God that brings back horrible memories for me. People need to aware of these things though and not suffer in silence! Great post! Hugs Paula xxx

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  6. yep that was difficult to watch…and yes, in the 60’s and 70’s NO ONE interfered with the husband’s rights over his wife! Been there, almost didn’t get back! got a divorce…and it happened again in the 80’s, but I couldn’t break free cause of children, once they left home I left! I don’t recommend staying for the kids, no matter what their ages…when that shit happens get the hell out!

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  7. I saw it first on LookingForward’s blog. She reblogged it and then I shared it on Facebook. We chatted for a bit about this series of images. It’s terrifying. What’s worse, is we have all been there. Cornered. Frightened. Ashamed. Looking at this brought it all back for me. It took me hours to recover from seeing these images. It was in a kitchen where Donkey attacked me the worst. My daughter was the same age as Memphis. I felt like I was seeing me at that moment. It was PTSD like I haven’t experienced in quite some time. I knew it, and so I was able to bring myself back to now, but it took effort, a lot of effort.

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  8. boy that was hard to see, the rage brought back a lot of intense feelings in me, this is so good and i hope it has a huge impact!

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  9. Did you happen to catch Makers last night on PBS. They told the story of a woman in CT who was nearly killed by her husband. She wound up suing the CT police department and winning! I think this story took place back in 1970s or 80s) and as a result, CT has the strictest domestic violence laws in the nation. It’s a pity that it takes a woman being killed or nearly killed by her husband before the law perks up and takes action!

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  10. Like you, I too admire the photojournalist and hope her project brings awareness. A very real, very scary topic that needs to have more and more light shed on it for exposure.

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