photographer as witness: domestic violence

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Posted 2/28/2013 by momy2six in NSBR Board
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momy2six
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Posted: 2/28/2013 3:53:10 PM
My first thought was "why didn't she intervene?" But what she captured may be something that needs to be seen.. warning.. images are disturbing toward the end of the series.



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ginacivey
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:00:14 PM
same reason the news photog didn't when the man was pushed in front of the subway?

biochemipea
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:01:01 PM
I couldn't look at any more after I saw the photo of the little girl running to her mother....






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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:03:29 PM
What a precious little girl.

So glad they were able to safely leave that horrible situation.



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Sharna_G
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:04:46 PM
Pictures 23 & 24 had me boiling mad! That poor little girl!


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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:15:23 PM
I know it's completely against what I would normally preach, but I had a hard time feeling anything but anger for either of them. And there is no way, if I were a photographer, that I could stand by and watch that. No. Way.


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IleneTell
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:16:33 PM
I'm glad she was able to leave him. So many don't.



ginacivey
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:20:10 PM
the whole series makes me feel that the photographer was worried about authenticy...staying uninvolved

there is nothing...that i could be working on...or towards that would have kept me from stepping in and at least taking those children out of that house

and where was the housemate? probably scared and dialing 911

it's hard to say what a person could have done...it's a paralyzing situation

i've been around when my BIL beat the hell out of my SIL - all i was able to manage was putting their kids in my car and geting them out of there...while calling the police

gina

MizIndependent
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:22:04 PM

And there is no way, if I were a photographer, that I could stand by and watch that. No. Way.
While I respect that and also agree with you, I can't help but feel she did a lot more good by not intervening.

The photographer kept shooting only after confirming the police were on their way. I'm certain the photographs played a role in his present incarceration...those photos aren't lying, and in fact may have been pivotal in her actually leaving him. Hard to deny what happened when you're sitting there looking at how your actions and his actions are affecting your daughter.



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gottapeanow
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:29:04 PM
Heart-wrenching. The photo journalist did an awesome job of capturing the emotions of the situations.

Lisa

melanell
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:34:57 PM

The photographer kept shooting only after confirming the police were on their way. I'm certain the photographs played a role in his present incarceration...those photos aren't lying, and in fact may have been pivotal in her actually leaving him. Hard to deny what happened when you're sitting there looking at how your actions and his actions are affecting your daughter.


I agree. I'm glad there is proof of what transpired that night, both to be used against Shane and as a reminder to a very young woman of how she does not want her to continue.

She needs to remember how lucky she was to get out of that situation relatively early on and to try not to let herself land in that type of relationship again.

I truly hope going back to the father of the kids works out for her, although my gut feeling is that it may not, at least not longer than just temporarily.



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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:39:24 PM
Photos are often proof and testimony. Just because someone photographed does not mean they did not also help in some way inclusive and exclusive of the photographs. I don't see this as voyeuristic photography like a lot of what we see posted online. To me, it depends on the intent.


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molove
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:40:47 PM
Intervening is very dangerous. Those raw pictures are very intense. I think the series portrays DV very realistically. Awful as it is, so many women live this daily.


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batya
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:46:18 PM
I also think seeing it documented start to (hopefully) finish can help other women see the reality and recognize it in their own lives and that there is help and a way out.

I think it very well could have escalated, hurt the children and Maggie more if he intervened, hurt him more or worse and then he and the pictures would not be here to testify for Maggie and the kids.

The impulsive decision is not always the best (easy for me to say sitting here in my safe relationship in my safe home), though I have been a first hand witness to long time domestic abuse. So there's that.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:50:41 PM
I'm just sitting here bawling. That poor family. I hope & pray that the husband she is returning to is a good man & that she and her children recover from this.




*rosebud*
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Posted: 2/28/2013 4:53:24 PM
This is amazingly powerful and horrible and important photojournalism. Each picture to me is but wrenching because you can see the intensity, rage and dominance he has. From getting g that tattoo on his neck one month after dating to the way he holds and touches her and the children. To me this is the profile of the warning signs of an unhealthy and dangerous relationship.

Fwiw, the photographer (a college aged woman) was told by police that she did absolutely the right thing and intervening could have been more dangerous for all. I think it took a lot of courage to keep shooting.

voltagain
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Posted: 2/28/2013 5:44:22 PM
Had the photos not been captured Maggie, with Shane's help, would have talked herself into "it wasn't that bad, all couples fight sometimes" until either she or Kayden ended up dead. But the pictures were and are there to remind her how bad it was.



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Nicole in TX
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Posted: 2/28/2013 7:13:29 PM
The stupidity of some women will never cease to amaze me.



Christine58
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Posted: 2/28/2013 7:22:10 PM
I may be well off base but some of those pictures seem staged. And what guy doing that to a woman would even ALLOW someone to be documenting it??? Seems really weird. I do hope that if it's all true, they are safe.



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Posted: 2/28/2013 7:38:08 PM
Those pictures are amazing. I really loved this comment:
"I don't think Shane has a busted lip or a broke nose, a busted arm, or a bruised back, and I don't think he really had to worry about the possibility of it either. One look is enough to identify all the marking of a borderline psychopath. This man is totally self-involved, infantile personality; jealous of little babies because he is not getting all the attention he feels he deserves. Insistent on his own self-importance, he will beat his girl friend to demonstrate his physical superiority as evidence of why his brutality is the emblem of his entitlement mentality. And before all you big He-Men get to jumping all over me - I am a man - not a woman. But then again Shane is not much of a man at that. He is a child in a brute's body."



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writermom1
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Posted: 2/28/2013 7:58:41 PM
Powerful and I'm glad the photographer captured it.

My concern in reading it is that Maggie seems incapable of not having a man. Her decision to return to someone else she already left once gives me pause. I'm not saying I would be able to do it any better, but I do hope it all works out for her and her children.



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molove
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Posted: 2/28/2013 8:06:04 PM

The stupidity of some women will never cease to amaze me.


It's really easy to victim blame, especially in DV situations with children involved.

It's counterintuitive to try and understand why and how these relationships exist.

But trust me, she isn't stupid. She's probably trapped, isolated and very poor. She's been threatened, hurt and probably really scared and ticked.

While you may think you would never, ever end up in a relationship like this, most who do, thought the same darn thing.

Let's focus on HIM. Why does he do that? Why does our system set things up that make it pretty easy for him to do that? How do we hold HIM accountable for HIS actions? See--those are harder questions. Much easier to blame her. That's misdirected though. I know plenty of survivors of DV that blame themselves plenty and learn a very hard lesson.

melanell
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Posted: 2/28/2013 8:06:40 PM

I also think seeing it documented start to (hopefully) finish can help other women see the reality and recognize it in their own lives and that there is help and a way out.

I think it very well could have escalated, hurt the children and Maggie more if he intervened, hurt him more or worse and then he and the pictures would not be here to testify for Maggie and the kids.


I agree with both of these points.

Such a sad situation. It seems as though she started making unfortunate choices so early in life and they keep pushing her further from a chance of a successful, happy, healthy life.

I hope she can turn things around in Alaska.



dwisker
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Posted: 2/28/2013 8:31:10 PM
I shared this with my photog professor today. He's been around for quite some time, including 2 tours of photojournalism in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I give her a lot of credit to stick with it, and that as a that as a photographer, it really makes me stop and think just how far does one go to get those images? At what expense? At what cost?
So many will criticize and Monday morning quarterback the situation, but no one knows what it was like to be there in her shoes.

Here is what he said to me in response:
"Ultimately, her pictures probably saved the young woman's life. I think that people criticize from a position of hypocrisy. The folks who screamed about the photographer who shot the man being hit by the train for instance might say that the photog didn't do anything, but his pictures have provoked the MTA to announce on platforms throughout the system that passengers should stand back from the edge. I wonder what the photographer would have done if he could have, maybe been coated in blood? No one did anything to help that man, including the crowd at the opposite end of the platform. Walk a mile in his shoes, I say. The young woman was probably scared out of her mind. That she kept her composure and made images that are not only in focus and well exposed, but are also well composed and deeply compassionate is a testament to her cool-headedness in the face of madness. Her pictures will probably change the world in at least a small way. May we all behave with such grace in a difficult situation. She marshaled her limited resources and defeated a violent monster in a way that will hopefully inspire others to proceed bravely. She's a hero."





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pennyring
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Posted: 2/28/2013 9:21:19 PM
Memphis




jacqab
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Posted: 2/28/2013 9:41:30 PM
That little 2 year old knew more about how her mother should not be treated then a supposedly grown man. No wonder the four year old didn't respond to him, Kayden probably could see more of this "man's" real character then his own mother.

It's maddening and sad that those children had to witness such atrocious behavior.




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Posted: 2/28/2013 9:54:32 PM
She is a very talented photographer. Her images are very powerful.

I don't have an issue with her shooting the altercation between the adults when she knew police were on the way...but, I think it is DISGUSTING that she didn't scoop up that baby and remove her from the situation. That child could have been hurt physically in addition to the emotional harm that was done.





peapermint
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Posted: 2/28/2013 10:31:55 PM
She says in the notes:


The incident raised a number of ethical questions. I've been castigated by a number of anonymous internet commenters who have said that I should have somehow physically intervened between the two. Their criticism counters what actual law enforcement officers have told me — that physically intervening would have likely only made the situation worse, endangering me, and further endangering Maggie.

I have continued to follow Maggie since the abuse, and I've also begun working closely with photographer Donna Ferrato, who first began documenting domestic violence 30 years ago.


ETA: Donna Ferrato

beachgurl
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Posted: 2/28/2013 10:57:43 PM
Wow. So I went to the Donna Ferrago link above, and read about her work, I Am Unbeatable. A collection that she hopes to have published to show women visibly how their lives can improve when they leave their abusers. Here is a link where she was raising the funds needed to do that.

I Am Unbeatable

And might I add, that I LOVE the word Un-Beatable used in this title.




TalissaAmity
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Posted: 3/1/2013 4:51:19 AM
Wow, on so many levels. A 4 year old child and a two year old by the age of 19?

I felt sad for the little boy firstly, a tiny little boy competing with a man for his mothers attention.

I felt so sad for the tiny little girl trying bravely to defend her mother.

In a way I understood the man a little. Money issues cause strain on a partnership. A man does like some attention from his partner. All in all though the man did seem quite childish in that he couldn't control his jealousy and he was controlling. Certainly laying your hands on your partner or a child is never acceptable. I wouldn't be surprised if he came from a background where his father hit his mother.
He needs some help just as much as everyone else so he doesn't inflict himself on other women and children.

Unless the woman can put a stop to having relationships with this type of man the cycle will probably continue with different men and the children will emulate the behavior they have grown up with.

Really Red
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Posted: 3/1/2013 5:08:37 AM
a 19yo girl with a 4yo kid

A GIANT flat-screen TV from a family who cannot make ends meet

Where are the 19yo's parents?

While there was violence, I don't see that it went to the level where Maggie would have been scared for her life. The photographer didn't do anything wrong that I see.


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momy2six
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Posted: 3/1/2013 5:13:17 AM
I couldn't help thinking he would eventually hurt the little boy.. or the girl for trying to comfort her mother..

oh, and about the flat screen.. they were staying at a friend's house. it wasn't their's.

I still can't help but feel a bit angry at the mother for putting her children in that position in the first place.. I mean duh dude just got out of jail. Also, the SECOND a man would have a problem with me putting my children first.. it would be over.



Nicole in TX
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Posted: 3/1/2013 5:19:48 AM

It's really easy to victim blame, especially in DV situations with children involved.

It's counterintuitive to try and understand why and how these relationships exist.

But trust me, she isn't stupid. She's probably trapped, isolated and very poor. She's been threatened, hurt and probably really scared and ticked.


Yes, but she got to where she was by making stupid decision after stupid decision:

- Dating a man in prison (RED FLAG)
- Dating a man with such an appearance (I wonder why he has a hard time finding a jo(RED FLAG)
- Staying with a man who is jealous of children because a mother wants to spend time with her toddlers (RED FLAG)
- Moving away from family against her will (RED FLAG)

I can't really feel that sorry for you if you are putting your need for sex above your need to keep your children safe.



recap.pea
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Posted: 3/1/2013 5:28:28 AM
I agree with Nicole in TX

RedSquirrel
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Posted: 3/1/2013 5:29:04 AM
Shane knew he was being photographed. How much worse would the fight have been if there had been no camera to record it?

Just by being there, the photographer may have truly saved the lives of Maggie and the children.

BOO!
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Posted: 3/1/2013 5:36:02 AM

The stupidity of some women will never cease to amaze me.


Don't blame the victim. Walk a mile in her shoes ... She made bad choices, but those choices don't define her.

To the OP, photojournalists do struggle with the "to intervene or not intervene" dilemma. It's not one question with one answer. Photojournalists in war torn countries are allowed in to "impartially" document. That doesn't mean they haven't stopped to pulled an elderly lady out of a rock pile. But they can't fight or win the war that they are there to document.

Consider, perhaps, that the photographs taken were the undeniable truth. Maggie can't deny the violence to herself or others. Statistically speaking, the Maggies of the world don't report the violence or get out. And someone out there in the same shoes will perhaps learn something.


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Posted: 3/1/2013 5:50:03 AM
Putting sex above her children? Seriously? Wow.

Lets see: Maggie's mother died from a drug
Overdose when she was 8 years old. Lets think for a
Moment about all the chaos that implies before and after her mom's death.

She had a child at age 15.
She had another child at 17.
Somewhere she got married and then estranged from her husband.
She is poor
She is uneducated.
She is desperate.

I don't think she went back to husband in Alaska because he's awesome and she wants as
Sex. I think she went back because she didn't know what else to do and she's hoping and praying sells will take care of her and her kids. I'm sure she left for a good reason to begin with.

This is hardly a woman. She's more like a child herself damaged and stunted and its extremely sad.

writermom1
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Posted: 3/1/2013 6:16:57 AM
I admit I struggle with extending sympathy even as I know it is due. With my background, support system, and instilled self-esteem it's hard for me to imagine I would ever get to one - let alone the many red flag points Maggie did.

The one time a relationship headed in that direction I left.

Therefore I understand Nicole in Tx frustration. I want to shake these women and ask how they don't see the signs? How do you end up this deep in? The young parenthood? I get that. The moving in with the much older ex-con? WTH???

Then I try and walk a mile in her shoes and realize that her shoes, in this case, would be baby shoes. Her journey on this sad path likely started early and through no fault of her own.

Where Nicole lost me is in thinking this was a "need for sex." Please. You don't really think that do you? This is clearly looking for stability, a helpmate, most likely a caretaker for herself and her children. Babies don't live on love and air. She needs someone to provide. She's going about it all wrong but I highly doubt a strong sexual urge is what drives her poor decisions.

Even the photographer said she was initially drawn to how tender the gruff ex con was with Memphis. I'm guessing Maggie was drawn in by the same.

In many households a 19 yo is still living as a kid. Even the most supported 19 yo might struggle to make it on her own with a High School education and two small children. Homeless with what I would guess to be limited job skills and two small children I would imagine Maggie fears losing her children. In her shoes I don't know that I wouldn't be on a plane to Alaska too.




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Posted: 3/1/2013 6:58:18 AM
The woman is stunted at the age of about 15 or 16, the age she was when she had her son. I'm positive I've read research that for some teenagers, their emotional growth stops or nearly stops when they have a child so young. She was not thinking as a mature woman with two young children. She was thinking with a brain that was lacking the emotional levels to help her make better decisions. I'd be curious to know if physical/emotional abuse was something she experienced or witnessed herself as a child.

As far as being "staged" because "no one would allow themselves to be photographed". In his rage, he lost all sense of reality and likely had no idea of what else was going on around him. Had the photographer intervened, the fight would have likely escalated with far more people being injured, including that little girl. Or the little boy would have woken up and being already unliked by this man, could become his target...especially to "get at" the mother.

Having witnessed the same as a child/teen...I can't begin to tell you how those images make me feel. I can only pray that woman gets the help she needs in order to forever protect those children from ever having to experience such a life altering experience again.


Joy


not2peased
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Posted: 3/1/2013 7:14:32 AM

Therefore I understand Nicole in Tx frustration. I want to shake these women and ask how they don't see the signs? How do you end up this deep in? The young parenthood? I get that. The moving in with the much older ex-con? WTH???

Then I try and walk a mile in her shoes and realize that her shoes, in this case, would be baby shoes. Her journey on this sad path likely started early and through no fault of her own.

Where Nicole lost me is in thinking this was a "need for sex." Please. You don't really think that do you? This is clearly looking for stability, a helpmate, most likely a caretaker for herself and her children. Babies don't live on love and air. She needs someone to provide. She's going about it all wrong but I highly doubt a strong sexual urge is what drives her poor decisions.

Even the photographer said she was initially drawn to how tender the gruff ex con was with Memphis. I'm guessing Maggie was drawn in by the same.

In many households a 19 yo is still living as a kid. Even the most supported 19 yo might struggle to make it on her own with a High School education and two small children. Homeless with what I would guess to be limited job skills and two small children I would imagine Maggie fears losing her children. In her shoes I don't know that I wouldn't be on a plane to Alaska too.




I know it's hard to understand how women end up in these situations but I so appreciate you trying to understand and being empathetic. the last thing a young woman like this needs is people calling her stupid-she's likely heard that far too many times. it's a lot easier than you think to get caught in something you can't get out of-all from a series of seemingly small, bad decisions and a need for security and a sense of family. add to that a dysfunctional upbringing and it's a recipe for disaster. dismissing someone as a dummy without trying to understand where they are coming from and how they got where they are now says a lot more about the person doing the judging than the person being judged.

I hope this young woman gets help. I hope moving to alaska was the right thing for her and her kids and I hope she finds peace, love and understanding in her life.

for anyone reading this thread that's in a similar situation: you are NOT stupid. you ARE worthy of being loved and you CAN get help for you and your kids. you don't deserve what is happening.


-Kerry


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Posted: 3/1/2013 7:25:12 AM

for anyone reading this thread that's in a similar situation: you are NOT stupid. you ARE worthy of being loved and you CAN get help for you and your kids. you don't deserve what is happening.


Word.

Let she who is without sin cast the first stone.

If this is you or someone you know you CAN get free. You are better than this and deserve so much more.



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sheepjammies
BucketHead

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Posted: 3/1/2013 8:08:50 AM
The article explains it all--the woman's mother died of a drug overdose when she was 8 years old, the photographer confirmed someone called the police and then documented to prove what happened. I don't know if I could have broken that up--this man looks extremely violent and dangerous.

Side note, I went to college at Ohio University (the photographer was doing a master's degree from OU) and I know this area of Ohio very, very well. I lived there several years after I graduated too. This area of Ohio was very prominent in the coal mining days and then when coal mining stopped, the area became very poor. I did my student teaching in the area and the stories I heard would make your toes curl.

Dani-Mani
PEAdiatric pea

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Posted: 3/1/2013 8:09:34 AM
If he were beating one of the children senseless and she stood by and took photos, I wonder how many of you would say its okay because she's documenting evidence?



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melanell
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 3/1/2013 8:26:11 AM

This is hardly a woman. She's more like a child herself damaged and stunted and its extremely sad.


I agree.

Some of the posts here make me so sad. She's a teenager who has led a difficult life all of her life. She had no mother for most of her life, and based on how her mother died, her mother may not have been much of a positive presence in her life even while she was alive.

I don't think she's stupid. I certainly don't think she's in these relationships for sex. She's looking for someone to take care of her. Every time she loses one man, she's back to thinking that she needs another to step in and provide a home and food for her and her children.

She could leave those kids abandoned somewhere and have a much easier life without them. But she's not. She's trying to care for them to the best of her very limited ability.

And chances are very good that she already feels that she is "stupid" and that she already feels like all she has to offer is herself to the next guy in line.

And unfortunately some people are more than willing to jump right in and back up her likely already dismal sense of self-worth.


And while we're at it, we'll bash the photographer in the situation, too. Because we all could have documented the abuse for the police and saved everyone involved without causing any more problems if we were there. Because we're so much better than any of the woman in that home that night.

Will we ever reach a point when more women in general try to build up and help other women instead of judging and tearing them down? God, I hope so.



cropduster
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Posted: 3/1/2013 8:32:01 AM
Well said melonell.


cropduster

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*rosebud*
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 3/1/2013 9:31:37 AM
Well said indeed, melanell.

I think the photographer was very brave to continue shooting. It's hard to second guess what she would have done if Shane had gone after Memphis or if he had had a weapon to use against Maggie.

But what she did in that situation as it happened seemed to be the very best thing she could have done.

Did you see that rage? No way was another woman going to be able to stop that. No way. Her photos probably helped with charges against Shane, and helped Maggie leave him. I think these photos will help others, too.

Here is an excellent analysis of the photos and how they show how abusers manipulate the abused. A great read, especially for those angry at Maggie.

Photo Essay Shows How Abusers Manipulate Victims

ashazamm
PeaAddict

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Posted: 3/1/2013 10:03:22 AM
In a situation like that though, if there is no evidence, nothing will happen as far as charges brought against the abuser.

I saw a story on Inside Edition, the undercover PI was on a stake out for something totally unrelated and he saw a domestic violence scene unfold before his eyes so recorded everything, he did not intervene. He called the police and the man was arrested for hitting his wife/gf. If he hadn't gotten the proof, she would have never filed against him and continued to abuse her.

So it's a tough call, intervene and help or stop it from continuing.

not2peased
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Posted: 3/1/2013 10:12:44 AM

If he were beating one of the children senseless and she stood by and took photos, I wonder how many of you would say its okay because she's documenting evidence?


have you ever tried to fight a man who was in a violent rage like that? how did it work out for you? I hate the stupid things people say like the above. it just shows their supreme ignorance

the LAST thing that woman should have done was to step in between him and his girlfriend-unless she was certain she could kick his ass and I'm sorry, very few women can physically stand up to a man in a rage like that. I know many who think they can-and they are quite sadly mistaken

escalating a crazy person's rage isn't the right move unless someone is in imminent danger of DYING-right then, and right there. while she was being abused, she wasn't about to die. the police were on their way. It's one thing if no help was coming, but help was on the way. it's a judgement call that none of us could have made because we weren;t there.

YOU weren;t there, and I wasn't there either


you know the right thing was done because everybody left that house alive


-Kerry


Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.

not2peased
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 3/1/2013 10:18:44 AM
I've been beaten numerous times and I can tell you, as sick as it would make me to watch-I would not have tried to fight that guy off. and that's not just for my safety-it's for everyone's safety NOT to try to escalate

Having talked my way out of quite a few beatings-I'm pretty good at dealing with someone like that-I would have tried to talk him down and defuse the situation until the cops arrived.

guys like that escalate very quickly and if the beating isn't "working" to control the victim, they can and will very easily switch to the kids to gain control. the LAST thing you want to do is make a guy like that feel like he isn't in control.


-Kerry


Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.

Sunshine36616
God peas protect me from your followers

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Posted: 3/1/2013 11:06:21 AM
The picture of him shirtless and raging in front of the television is terrifying.


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