This campaign to help raise awareness around the UNiTE to End Violence Against Women and Girls, has provided me with an opportunity to examine a difficult and painful topic. I was able to creatively collaborated with an amazing group of friends including: Yuji Joshua Paul Oyama, Kumi Faith Oyama, Taylor Rae Asami Pagaragan, Rodolph Miez and Erina Yamazaki. They provided the opportunity to challenge one another and express and explore their perspectives on this subject as well.
This was a difficult project for us; creatively, mentally, and emotionally. We wanted to show the impact of sexual and physical harassment as well as mental abuse. We tried a variety of scenes and scenarios, and were able to put together this series, our intention; to heighten people's awareness about different forms of abuse.
The storyline throughout the series portrays a narrative of mental manipulation and physical torment. Often these women are living in pain and feel trapped without the ability to escape. They long to be saved but feel unable to plea for help, because of their shame they hide behind a mask of guilt and fear.
For many, coming forward about being a victim of violence may lead to the stigma of forever being labeled as one. There is a fear of being seen differently by others. These women often struggle with being able to see their own value and carry the feeling of being obsolete. The traumas affect their ability to trust the people around them, as well as, losing the ability to love or feel loved. Time allows these women to progress forward, however, it is difficult for the victim to move forward and get past their experience.
These women should not be defined by their experience, but as beings. We hope this project will help bring awareness to people about physical and mental abuse, harassment, and violence. We seek to prevent these issues from happening to all women. We need to not only empathize, but also speak out on violence against them.
We hope these photographs deepen your understanding of issues on the Violence Against Women.