2013 Winner – Sara Lewkowicz

Shane and Maggie

 

Domestic violence is a largely invisible crime. We usually only hear it muffled through walls, and we usually only see it manifested in the faded yellow and purple bruises of a woman who “walked into a wall” or “fell down the stairs.” It is rarely limited to one event, and it rarely stops. My project, “Shane and Maggie,” seeks to take a deeper, unflinching look at domestic abuse as a process, as opposed to a single incident, examining how a pattern of abuse develops and eventually crests, as well as its short- and long-term aftereffects on victims, their families, and their abusers.

 

We typically only see victims of abuse in the hours or days after having been abused. I have been able to spend time with Maggie and her children before, during, and after a domestic assault. Since the incident, Maggie has moved to Alaska to be with the father of her two children, a soldier in the army who is stationed in Anchorage. I recently spent my spring break in Alaska, documenting Maggie trying to put the pieces of her family and her life back together utilizing both still photographs and multimedia. I am also in the process of attempting to contact Shane and photograph and interview him in jail to gain his perspective, as well as interviewing Maggie's friends and family, whom Shane isolated her from during their relationship.