A photography blog:
the stories behind the photos
I remember sleeping on the floor at night and could feel someone touching me. I was afraid to open my eyes. I remember thinking that it wasn’t right, but I didn’t know how to stop it. It was my cousins. They took turns at touching me, as if I was some sort of specimen.
It was shocking to hear that I would have to leave my mum and my younger brother and sister behind. I was only eleven years old.
Even today when I think about it, I feel the pain of that separation.
The events of your life do not define you, or who you ultimately become.
I was born into an environment that was scary. I was always in fear of my dad’s explosive anger. He had high expectations that were impossible to meet and my mum was very timid. It was a childhood of constant anxiety and fear. From a young age I drank, smoked and self-harmed to cope with big emotions.
I was dealing with a life-time of trauma, undiagnosed PTSD and I had little support or guidance. I existed but I’d had enough of this life.
Pearl Project is a collaboration between Voices of Hope and Robyn Harper Photography. It is a project promoting storytelling through writing, photography and film for women who have experienced abuse. The aim is to champion survivors within our community, to raise awareness through highlighting the challenges they face during and after abuse, and to tell their inspiring stories of survival, restoration and triumph.
If only someone knew what I was going through. At age 19, I met the man I was told to marry. I knew something was not right, but the decision was final. My mother-in-law was strict and I needed her permission to see my parents. I felt trapped but couldn’t tell them...
I used to dread Fridays when my stepfather came home drunk. Once I smelt alcohol in the air I knew he was going to smash the house up and become violent. I can remember shaking with fear, hiding from him behind a sofa and running to a neighbour, begging her to hide me away so he couldn’t find me. My childhood years were memories of instability and constant worry.
I was kidnapped twice and raped four times. I remember one of the kidnappers telling me that I would not live to see the next morning. He beat me so badly I was relieved that I might die.
Don’t you dare die with a broken heart when there IS healing available! There is a plan and purpose for your life.
Today I have the most precious things in the world; peace, freedom and hope. For a long time I thought I would never get there. Things only changed when I joined the Sisterhood Choir. By then I’d gone through years of abuse. I’d left my marriage, taken my two young...