According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 35 percent of women worldwide will experience physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse in their lifetime.
While most people tend to think of abusers as being strangers in dark alleys, the sad reality is that a large portion of violence against women is committed by people they know. WHO estimates that 30 percent of all women who have been in romantic relationships have been abused at least once. That’s one in three.
It’s easy to look at a woman who’s been abused and ask, “Why don’t you just leave?” What’s not so easy, however, is actually doing it. People in abusive situations are often robbed of their agency and independence to such an extent that they believe they have no choice. Fortunately, groups like Lithuania’s Moterys Kalba do everything they can to empower women and encourage them to seek the help they deserve.
Moterys Kalba, which translates to Women Speak, is a grassroots organization that was founded by five women named Lina, Monika, Beata, Neringa, and Modesta.
“Instead of talking about women as victims,” Lina explained to ViralNova, “we always want to portray them as superheroes!”
And that is how their “#Superheroes” project was born. In collaboration with women who escaped their abusers and photographer Neringa Rekasiute, the team planned a photo shoot that allowed them to embrace their power.
“We first went to Vilnius Crisis Center, which is where the women stayed when they left their partners,” Lina writes. “It took about three months for us to get to know each other and earn their trust.”
Lina continued by pointing out that the women wanted to wear masks at first. “But when we arrived on the day of the shoot, they realized that they could be without them. It was such a wonderful moment.”
Their goal is to reach women who carry a sense of guilt and shame.
That burden shouldn’t be theirs to bear, but sadly, they feel the brunt of their partners’ heavy hands — the ones that tear through them until it feels like there’s nothing left. The women of Moterys Kalba want survivors to know that they’re not alone.
According to Lina, “The idea is to inspire women to share their stories and break the silence. We want them to lend their voices to the conversation by using #superheroes on social media. It’s time to show the world how strong we are.”
The next time you hear about a woman facing abuse, don’t ask her why she hasn’t left. Ask her what you can do to help.
Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/moterys-kalba/