Monday, October 15, 2012

Overcoming Domestic Abuse

Overcoming Domestic Abuse. Stitched words: Starting Over; To break the cycle of abuse; Women's Shelter; I left for good; No more false promises; Abusers never change; To save my son; Order of Protection; I ran for my life. Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin.  Hand embroidery and assorted needles. 25" x 19", unframed; 31" x 25", framed.  Click on image to enlarge.

I lost track of the number of people who asked me, "Are you on Facebook?" With several blogs, I couldn't see any reason to join an on-line social network! When would I have time? Why would I want to socialize via my computer screen? It all sounded silly, except that everyone who asked me about Facebook also said that it would be a great tool for finding potential Decision Portrait Series models. So, I joined. 

I honestly didn't think it would work.... but it did! I'm now in communication with people I met years ago.... some of whom shared important, life changing decisions through this series. This is one of those portraits!

I met this lovely young lady through arts channels in South Carolina. She's a talented painter, a spiritual person, a mother of a four year old, and someone who had been hiding a horrible secret until a year and a half ago. (2009) Recently, we became Facebook friends; she contacted me; this portrait is the result.

I wish I'd known the truth. Somehow, I feel a little guilty for not knowing. Honestly, I can't imagine an abusive relationship, but I also couldn't imagine how I might react to someone in such a circumstance...until now. Through our correspondence I've learned of the pain and loneliness of leaving an abusive spouse. I've learned that so-called friends avoid the situation altogether. I've had to type replies...offering heart-felt words and cyber hugs. I hope that others seeing this portrait reflect on the difficult decision she had to dangerous. I also hope that those viewing this portrait think about how they'd react to someone who'd recently made such a decision.... with avoidance or with support.

Support might just be passing on a link.... to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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