Two charities have created a series of stock photos for journalists to use in a bid to dispel misconceptions about domestic abuse.
Scottish Women’s Aid and Zero Tolerance have united to launch the images, which can be used for free by media outlets.
The charities say newspapers and broadcasters often use images depicting physical violence with articles about domestic abuse, even though much of the abuse is not violent – comprising elements including bullying, controlling behaviour, intimidation, coercion, threats, psychological, emotional or financial abuse.
The series of 15 photos were taken by photographer Laura Dodsworth as part of her project ‘a thousand words’, and are based on the words and experiences of women who have lived through domestic abuse.
Brenna Jessie, of Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “So often at Women’s Aid we hear women question whether their experience counts as abuse – they have no black eye, they have no burst lip.
“A thousand words is important because we desperately want people to know that there is no hierarchy when it comes to abuse – whether it’s controlling behaviour, threats, humiliation, sexual or physical violence, it all counts and it is all real abuse.”
Lydia House, of Zero Tolerance, added: “Domestic abuse affects women of all classes, ages and backgrounds but current stock images don’t reflect this.
“With a thousand words publications have a real choice in the images they use to illustrate stories about domestic abuse. We hope to see a real step forwards in the depth and diversity of women’s stories represented by the media.”
The images can be downloaded for free here.