Photos Capture the Chilling Reality of Domestic Abuse
Photojournalist Sara Naomi Lewkowicz's project takes a turn
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2013 8:30 AM CST
This is not Sara Naomi Lewkowicz's photo; head to 'Time' to see her work.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Photojournalist/grad student Sara Naomi Lewkowicz set her sights on a pretty sobering subject last fall: the experience of being an ex-convict in American society. She was following the experience of Shane, a 31-year-old who had "spent much of his life incarcerated," and his girlfriend of one month, 19-year-old mother of two Maggie Mae, whose name he had tattooed across his neck in bold, drippy-looking letters. Lewkowicz had intended to follow the struggles he faced, but the project took a turn for the harrowing after a night at a karaoke bar.

As Lewkowicz explains, Maggie felt another woman was flirting with Shane; a fight ensued, and things turned physical at home, with Shane choking Maggie in front of her 2-year-old daughter. "Suddenly, an incident of domestic violence unexpectedly became my business," Lewkowicz writes. After verifying that someone in the home had called the police, she "continued to document the abuse—my instincts as a photojournalist began kicking in. If Maggie couldn’t leave, neither could I." The result: a painful story told in 39 images for Time. Click to view the photos.

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Showing 3 of 37 comments
Feb 28, 2013 3:12 PM CST
Two kids by age 19 and no husband, shacked up with convict she's only known for a month...nah, it's never just poor judgement that leads women into domestic violence situations, is it? Just another "helpless victim"... The real victims in these photos are the children. I hope CPS removes them from this unfit mother's care, pronto.
Feb 28, 2013 2:12 PM CST
So upsetting to watch, especially the photos of the little girl witnessing the assault and trying to comfort her mother afterwards.
Feb 28, 2013 2:04 PM CST
It's telling how quiet this comment page is compared to the last DV one.