The Wellspring's Domestic Violence Awareness Month posters

Organization Name:
The Wellspring
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
This was our Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October) 2008 poster. I wanted the visual image to address a common misconception about victims of domestic violence: that they are weak or tolerate or even deserve or provoke abuse. Victims are often incredibly brave, but people who don’t understand the dynamic of domestic violence don’t see this. Domestic violence survivors seldom speak publicly about their ordeal. I wanted the graphic to give them voice. You can see the faceless, sketched image in the background (created from the photo of the Caucasian woman using Photoshop filters). She could be anyone, as abuse occurs to persons from all walks of life. The quotes are from actual domestic violence survivors when asked what they’d like others to know about them. “Through Her Eyes,” you can see she is not weak and wants others to see who she is, not the situation she is in. This piece is innovative because we have never based a campaign around the perspective of the survivor.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
The issue, as noted above, is to change a common misconception about domestic violence victims. We wanted to address this because survivors are often embarrassed to ask for help because of the stigma attached to being a victim because of this common misconception. If more people understood that these persons are crime victims and do not tolerate, deserve or provoke the attacks, perhaps the survivors would feel more comfortable talking about their abuse and coming forward for help. So often the discussion of domestic violence is about the cost to society from medical expenses, lost productivity, impact on children, cost of law enforcement and court intervention, etc. The victim too often has no voice in the discussion. This piece was designed to give the victim his/her say – to give the damage to society a human face instead of a financial one.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
This piece has created a better understanding of domestic violence in our community by changing the focus of the community conversation about the issue. We now have more clearly focused the conversation on what domestic violence is – a violent crime – and the conversation is about holding abusers accountable and helping victims be seen for what they are – incredibly brave and resilient persons who have been through something awful and survived.
Creative Submission - Files