Collective statement of the artists

“We are all women from different backgrounds. Most of us were not born in Australia, some of us grew up here, or have lived here for many years. All of us want to speak out about family violence.

We want to see ourselves and have our own experiences reflected in images about preventing violence and raising awareness. This exhibition is about us. But it’s also about all women and children who are experiencing family violence, have experienced family violence or work with families who experience family violence.

Using this opportunity to share our experiences and have our voices heard shows people that women who experience violence are not just silent victims and we want to create/lead change. It shows what women working to stop violence can achieve with support and opportunities. It shows that we are finding ways to move on and that our abusers don’t win. We want to tell all women, from all backgrounds, that you deserve love and respect, that you can stand up for yourself.”

About the photovoice project

Family violence can affect all women and their children, but women’s experiences are not all the same.

The ASPIRE Photovoice project was part of a larger research partnership between Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, University of Melbourne and University of Tasmania, funded by ANROWS.

The project aimed to learn more about immigrant and refugee women’s experiences of family violence in Australia. You can read about the research and findings here.

Using a research method called Photovoice, we asked women we had met through the project, who had either experienced family violence, or supported other women experiencing violence, to express their views through images as well as words.

With mobile phones, cameras and courage, ten women worked together from July to December 2016 to produce this collection of photographs.