Every Woman I Know, is a portrait series depicting every woman I personally know, who has been a victim of sexual violence. Participants are photographed anonymously, and those who elect to have a public portrait, are photographed both ways. Despite the safety of many voices and the #MeToo movement, many women still do not feel comfortable coming forward publicly, and this is visibly represented by how many women only participate anonymously.
I also give each participant blank paper to submit a handwritten account of their experience(s).
Creating art that empowers these women has been the singular goal I’ve had for the project, by giving them the opportunity to heal through speaking out on issues and experiences that have troubled them for too long. I know each time I share my own story; I feel lighter, less inhibited by the shame that society burdens victims with, and the women who have participated so far have said the same.
“Thank-you for being there for me…you make me feel like my story is worth knowing.” Woman #5
In these exceedingly hostile times, the voices of women need to be echoed more than ever, our stories need to be heard, and through creating a space for women to safely and anonymously share their stories, we as a collective community are reclaiming our voices and breaking our silences on the all-toocommon experience of sexual violence that so many women share. By standing together, we can change the perception that this is not a serious or frequent issue and bring attention to how necessary a shift is in our society’s values regarding women and our place in it.
I am working to exponentially expand the spread and reach of this project by working with other like-minded female photographers, to help women heal on an individual level. Sexual violence is not restrained to a region, space, or time—it is pervasive, constant, ubiquitous, inescapable, and to localize this project would be doing a disservice to women everywhere.