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#SilenceHidesViolence: The Campaign Encouraging Victims Of Domestic Violence To Speak Out

by Maria Bell Published on 8 September 2015

According to National Office of Statistics 4.6 million women in England and Wales have experienced domestic abuse. But with statistics like that, the global conversation on domestic violence is, for the main part, still on mute. This is why when Brooke Beaton's partner of 4 months allegedly attacked her in her car, she wasn't going to stay silent. With the help of her friend she launched the #silencehidesviolence campaign to encourage victims to speak out and it's as powerful as it sounds.

Most campaigns that tackle domestic violence use models and make up. This one doesn't.

​In late August, Brooke Beaton claims that her boyfriend of four months punched her in the face before choking her and attempting to take her phone. After reporting him to the police, Brooke contacted her photographer friend Tiffany Thoelke to make sure he faced up to his actions by photographing her bruises before they faded and to encourage others to speak out too. ​

Ms Thoelke released the emotional photographs on her T.S.T Photography Facebook page along with the message:

"I write this with a Heavy heart. Today I saw a post of my child hood [sic] friend that tore me apart. During conversation she said "we need to do a shoot to raise awareness about domestic violence" I said, "yeah we can any weekend" (thinking the normal, makeup and such) swamped with editing and deadlines, she says to me "no, like, as in now, i want it to be real" without hesitation, I agreed. I was taken back by her courage, in a time where so many women just don't have it. This is not makeup, this is Brooke, my beautiful friend, a mother, a model, an all around amazing woman....with real bruises. This is, real."

I write this with a Heavy heart. Today I saw a post of my child hood friend that tore me apart. During conversation she...

Posted by T.S.T Photography on Sunday, August 23, 2015

Since then women across the globe have shared their stories with the hashtag #silencehidesviolence. Ms Thoelke told Metro UK: "I hope we can continue to help the thousands if not millions affected by this [domestic violence] every day. It opened a conversation that could go on forever."

If you've been affected by any of the issues covered in this article you can contact the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership by Women’s Aid and Refuge) on 0808 2000 247.

Tweet us at @sofeminineuk.

This article was written by Maria Bell, tweet her on @Marrbell.

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