In fall 2010, I worked with a local women’s organization, Sol Naciente, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is dedicated to empowering women who have suffered from various abuses - living in the streets, drug addictions and domestic violence. For three weeks, I taught a group of eight women photography, from the basic techniques to the way that it can express what words cannot. The workshop was used as a tool of empowerment for the women, teaching them how to express themselves as individuals and as members of a group, thus creating a space of support and trust. This is their story.
Join us tonight at the IMUG Starbucks for the opening of the Creative Voices Exhibit! There will be free snacks and drinks beginning at 6pm so come hungry!
Diane is one of millions of women around the world who experience violence within their own home. It is a prevalent issue that has continued for centuries affecting every race, economic status and culture. After a traumatic experience with her second abusive husband, Diane finally sought the help she needed to escape and move on with her life. She went to Middle Way House, a shelter for women in Bloomington, Indiana, and has been there for two years. She is currently working at their food retail store and taking classes, such as photography, to learn new skills for when she leaves. This is her story.
When we first leave the nest and move out on our own we typically seek independence, self-sufficiency and a lifestyle that embodies our beliefs and ideologies. It’s the American Dream. For Diane Collins, it took her 48 years to begin establishing such liberty.
“I’ve taken care of husbands, children, everything – cats, dogs,” Diane said. “This is very new to me to be all-alone. I have no husband, no children, no dogs, no cats, no baseball, no gymnastics, so I like it.”
Her dreams of working in radio were squandered in 1997 when her husband began abusing her. He kept her locked up inside the house and prevented her from having friends, from having a life on her own. She could not show emotion without suffering the consequences. “I couldn’t laugh, couldn’t cry. I was like a zombie.”
This is a thorough look at the prevalence of violence against women done by ICRW, the International Center for Research on Women. It explains how violence against women as an issue does not discriminate; it transcends cultural, economic and geographic boundaries, affecting millions of women around the world.
Changing the world begins with the very personal process of changing yourself, the only place you can begin is where you are, and the only time you can begin is always now.