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Domestic violence in France (1996-1998)

Conjugal violence is a serious social problem that affects all social backgrounds and all cultures. It is unacceptable. The figure for domestic violence is a black number. Estimates agree, however, that about three million women are victims of domestic violence.

That is to say one in five women!

This woman knows her attacker. He lives at home. This woman is perhaps our friend, our neighbor, our sister ... Violence develops through cycles whose intensity and frequency increase over time, to the point of pushing the woman to suicide or exposing her to homicide. Almost 150 women die each year from the beatings of an abusive husband.

One every two days!

At a time when few subjects remain taboo, it seemed urgent to me to testify on this delicate problem on which we still too often throw a modest veil. The family is the place par excellence for the private.

No photographer is supposed to take pictures there, much less this kind of pictures.

Photographing battered women immediately after the tragedy, in their homes, in hospital emergency departments or in shelters, may, to some, appear voyeuristic. However, my approach is exactly the opposite. I wanted to denounce what is rarely seen. Give these women back their dignity.

Fight the silence in which they find themselves. Talking about domestic violence is disturbing.

But to be silent is to make them victims twice.

I felt the need to make my modest contribution by offering my perspective as a woman photographer on this very serious problem. I knew that wanting to take pictures on such a sensitive subject could be disturbing.

I did not seek to surprise or shock and even less to flatter any voyeurism.

I wanted to photograph these others ourselves, to retain through the image these moments of life when we no longer speak,

where only the eyes and the heart express themselves. I wanted my photos to show, denounce and give food for thought.

The bet will be won for me, if, at the sight of the images, women seize their word, come out of their isolation, dare to break the wall, dare to say, dare!

The bet will be won for me, if, at the sight of the photos, the emotion and the heart put to contribution,

we just feel close ...


Lizzie SADIN

Domestic violence emergency telephone number: 3919

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