"One photo a day in the worst year of my life."
That is the translation of the name of a 365-photomontage in this video posted on YouTube.
As reported by the Daily News, the woman in the photographs is sporting ficticious bruises, cuts, lacerations and welts, all created with make-up.
While the injuries are fabricated, the imagery of the photomontage leaves many with a lasting impression of gravity and an array of emotions from shock and disbelief to anger and sympathy.
Initial photos of a seemingly happy and healthy young woman convert to more and more photos of the same woman with a look of pain and dispair with steadily increasing signs of physical abuse.
Being described as having "delivered a vital message as an emotional gut punch," the video is bolstered as an effective public service announcement.
Looking at the steady stream of photos and seeing not only the physical effects of domestic violence, but the emotional ones, which are so eloquently portrayed through the woman's eyes, make it an effective tool in raising awareness and reaching those that may have otherwise ignored apparent signs of abuse.
In the last photo, the woman holds up a sign, in Croatian, that reads "Help me, I don't know if I will survive until tomorrow."
Many times people make it their business not to get involved in others' personal lives.
Seeing an acquaintance or neighbor with such signs may not necessarily move us to action. People are too often prone to stay out of it.
Not only does the PSA call attention to the visible aspects of abuse, but it also brings attention to the fact that those facing abuse need help.
And, at times, that help could mean the difference between life and death.
No one can make another person end an abusive relationship, but that does not mean help should not be offered.
Some victims of domestic violence want out, but fear they will not make it on their own, financially. Some fear retribution for trying to leave. And some feel that they do not have anyone to turn to for help.
Bringing such issues to light through a vivid PSA like this well put together YouTube video is sheer genius. There are no words, no sentimental actors with pre-written sob stories.
We all have an obligation to get involved when another is being abused, whether it be a child or adult.
Here are a few resources for those suffering from domestic violence:
- Safe Horizon - 24-hour hotline - (800) 621-4673 (HOPE); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Center Against Domestic Violence - 24-hour hotline - (718) 439-1000
- Center for the Women of New York - (718) 793-0672
- Community Mediation Services - (718) 523-6868 ext. 203
- Jewish Board of Family & Children's Services - (718) 237-1337
- Korean Family Counseling & Research Center - (718) 321-2400
- Missionaries of Charity - Queen of Peace Shelter - (212) 222-7229; (718) 292-0019
- Queens Directory of Services: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assualt, Child Maltreatment & Elder Abuse - PDF
- NYPD - 111th Precinct Domestic Violence Line - (718) 279-5298