Every third woman is exposed to violence in a near relationship during her lifetime
In 2021, the reality is still that every third woman at some point in adulthood is exposed to violence in a close relationship and the trauma and taboo around this means that far too few dare and have the strength to tell, or even leave in silence.
The collection I didn’t go through all that for nothing is a series of works of art that the artist Sophie Thomsen initially created as a kind of tool to process a destructive relationship she eventually managed to leave. The collection also marked the start to open up for, dare to start talking about, and pay attention to men's violence against women.
Because it's happening. ALL THE TIME.
So we need to talk. Not just those who are going or have gone through it. But all of us. We need to talk about how terribly difficult it is to leave. We need to talk about the fact that not all violence is visible. We need to talk about how we respond to someone who may for the first time dare to speak the words he is not kind.
We need to listen to the signs and take them seriously. We need to talk. It is our duty to those who are still silently stuck in a destructive relationship. It's the only way we can reverse the trend and stop men's violence against women.
Sophie tells us
I didn’t go through all that for nothing
That's how it started. I needed to take control of the trauma and make something good out of it to be able to move on.
Each one of the images is drawn from my own lived experiences of violence, from what was my reality for far too many years. It was important to me to make the works of art so emotional and personal that no one can dismiss them.
My hope is that my art will be able to help put light on violence against women, to be a part of the solution.
I managed to leave my relationship, it took several years and several attempts even though I knew I would not survive a life with him. Thats the hard truth. Sometimes to run is the brave thing. What made me realise what kind of life I was living and what gave me the power to leave were other people's stories, this is my way to pay it forward. We have to tell our stories to make a change!
"One thing I want every young girl to bring through life, is that you can’t change someone by loving them harder."
Sophie contiues - The response I have had from women exposed to violence makes all the pain involved with doing this worth it for me. For the first time, women have dared to tell what they have been through. It’s big It’s a first step to put guilt and shame where it belongs. With the perpetrator.
Every third woman is subject to violence
1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced violence in a close relationship in her lifetime.
WHO estimates that 35 % of the world's women have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by a partner after the age of 15. In 2013, the WHO compiled research on men's violence against women.
Every day 137 women are murdered by a partner
UN figures shows that every day 137 women are murdered by a partner or family member.
More than a third of the women intentionally killed in 2017 were killed by their current or former intimate partner.
75% might never report the crime, or even tell anyone
The dark figure is large because a large proportion of victims of violence never report the abuse they are subjected to in the close relationship.
It is estimated that only around 25% of the violence in close relationships is reported to the police.
The pandemic made the situation even worse
Around the world, as cities have gone into lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus the abuse against women increases dramatically.
Sources: UN Women, WHO, The Guardian, Amnesty International Sweden (in Swedish), The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, Nationellt centrum för kvinnofrid (in Swedish)
Jolin Prints and Sophie have chosen to donate all proceeds from this collection to the Swedish organization Kvinna till Kvinna, which do invaluable work around the world to end men's violence against women.