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Domestic violence victim reimagines her experience in photos to show women ‘they’re not alone’

By WITW Staff on November 22, 2016

After managing to escape a two-year relationship in which she was subjected to physical and emotional abuse, New Orleans makeup artist Ebony Malika put her talents to new use — raising awareness. A series of photos created by Malika feature a woman with a face bruised and bloodied from abuse — as well as a man who lurks behind her, staring at her with a gaze both intimate and threatening.

“I loved that person very much, honestly more than myself at one point. And that’s exactly where I went wrong,” Malika told BuzzFeed News. “I didn’t have the understanding that if something is clearly and obviously unhealthy for us, we have to let it go no matter how much you love the person.”

Malika’s photos, and her messages of empowerment, have since been shared thousands of times. Some women, Malika says, have even reached out to her with stories, and images, of their own experiences of abuse.

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So people have been sending me things of others having negative and evil comments on this movement. I refuse to shine a light on anything negative. Because I've come to the conclusion that when a person is truly ignorant and miserable they don't even realize how pathetic they are anymore. But look at this woman's eye, almost shut! And a person she loved and trusted did this to her! And the woman who commented under her, who is emotionally destroyed! Which in my opinion is the worst form of domestic abuse.This is why I did what I did. People are real life experiencing these situations and some of y'all want laugh and make jokes. Y'all straight up ignorant, grow up! But God has a way of humbling us. Don't judge someone if you haven't walked in their shoes and stomached what they have.

A post shared by Ebony Malika (@beatbyebb) on

“Although it saddened me, the responses made me feel good as well. I’m thankful for the people that weren’t afraid to be heard,” said Malika. “The most heartfelt responses are the personal testimonies.”

The outpouring of support that she’s received, Malika added, has meant a lot to her. She hopes that her work, in turn, helps others as well. “I just want people to understand that they’re not alone,” Malika said. “We are much greater than domestic violence and whatever we go through.”

Read the full story at Buzzfeed.


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