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Photojournalist unexpectedly documents domestic violence

By dpreview staff on Mar 1, 2013 at 20:51 GMT

While documenting the lives of a young Ohio couple for a project about, 'the stigma associated with being an ex-convict', freelance photojournalist Sara Naomi Lewkowicz found herself witnessing a heated argument among her subjects that escalated into violence. The harrowing and emotionally raw images that she captured follow a long tradition of documentary photography. Yet, she's also had to answer detractors who question whether she should have intervened.

Below we've shared a few of Lewkowicz's images documenting the conflict between Shane (the former convict) and Maggie, a couple whose late night argument escalated into a scene of domestic abuse. We've deliberately omitted images of the physical violence. To view the portfolio in its entirety, please visit Lewkowicz's web site. We've included Lewkowicz's own captions from the Time Lightbox blog to provide some context to the encounter.

After a night out at a local bar, Maggie left after becoming jealous of when another woman flirted with Shane. Upon arriving home, Shane flew into a rage, angry that Maggie had "abandoned him" at the bar and then drove home with his friend, whose house they were staying at for the week. Maggie told him to get out of the house, that he was too angry and that he would wake the children. Rather than subsiding, Shane's anger began to grow, and he screamed that Maggie had betrayed him, at one point accusing his friend (not pictured) of trying to pursue her sexually.
Around half past midnight, the police arrived after receiving a call from a resident in the house (pictured at right). Maggie cried and smoked a cigarette as an officer from the Lancaster Police Department tried to keep her separated from Shane and coax out the truth about the assault. Shane pled with Maggie not to let the police take him into custody, crying out, "Please, Maggie, I love you, don't let them take me, tell them I didn't do this!"

In describing details of the eventLewkowicz notes that once the situation turned physically violent, she confirmed that another witness had called the police before she continued shooting. In addition, she has been told by law enforcement officers that physically intervening, 'would have likely only made the situation worse, endangering me, and further endangering [the victim]'. It's also worth noting that Lewkowicz received approval to move forward with publishing these images from the victim herself, 'because she feels the photographs might be able to help someone else.'

The goal of documentary photography is to bring personal stories into public view, often with the aim of affecting societal change. What would have been your response in such a situation?

Comments

Total comments: 269
12
aliminator
By aliminator (Mar 2, 2013)

These photos show how easy it is to get into a jail. Loosing temper for a minute ( sometimes for a justifiable reason) and you are in a jail.

Who is the victim here? I'm afraid it is the guy not the woman.

4 upvotes
A Guy Platt
By A Guy Platt (Mar 2, 2013)

You're kidding I hope.

5 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Mar 2, 2013)

@alminator
I agree to a point.
Going through the entire story provided by the link posted by DPReview, it appears the dude was trying real hard. But things were conspiring against him (including his own paranoia about the woman sexing some other dude).
He really needed help in re-adjusting to society.
So I have a LOT of sympathy for his situation and for him.
However........
there is a part of the story that I find distrubing; it's the part where he is grabbing the woman and offering her a choice of going somewhere and talking about it or getting a beating in the kitchen. That seems a bit controlling to me. Perhaps he was exasperated with her and thought that her reluctance to go somewhere quiet was more of an example of her unreasonableness so in frustration he decided to be unreasonable too and offered violence as the alternative and really did wanna talk things through, I dunno but it did seem to be worrying to me.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
aliminator
By aliminator (Mar 2, 2013)

No, I'm not kidding. There is something hypocritical in these American shows. They don't show drama objectively and with compassion. There is something arrogant and mercenary in how they handle many moral issues.

5 upvotes
teeb
By teeb (Mar 2, 2013)

Does "losing temper for a minute" make it all right to use violence? Scary mindset. Very scary.

2 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (Mar 2, 2013)

I can't believe how many misogynistic people are commenting are on this forum.

Here's a story about a young woman getting abused by a clearly psychopathic man who has spent more time in prison than out and you are blaming her? She may have made a bad decision and she probably needs some psychological help, but she doesn't deserve to be abused.

Who are you people to judge this woman? You don't know her story. You people ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

11 upvotes
Alessandro63
By Alessandro63 (Mar 2, 2013)

Ditto.
With the difference that I can believe it, because the feeling to have the "right to abuse" is not limited to phsycopaths. I welcome this reportage because it gives visibility to a problem.
In fact, look at the update on Time's page: "Readers who feel they–or people they know–need assistance can call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE"
What do you think it means the fact that they added it...

0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Mar 2, 2013)

Don't worry about it. Mysogynistic men who do poorly with women and therefore become bitter and cold hearted have been lurking around the internet since the dawn of time. Just let them have their outlet over internet forums/boards. They're completely harmless in real life.

1 upvote
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Mar 2, 2013)

do you know the term MANGINA ? This describes people, who will over-protect woman as an entity no matter what, rejecting constructive criticism or considering them as equal, as normal human beings, as persons.
Manginas are mixing guilt, rejection of themselves based on this guilt and patriarchal protectionism in the sole goal to become slaves to a mutated hyperfeministic cause that many girls are fed up to watch growing.
This dangerous idealization of groups has been the base of many dictatorship and discrimination during wars or segregation.

It divides both man and woman who lost confidence in true relationships based on equal work and equal love and provides to some girls a superior feeling of control over others, expecting them to accept any potential job weakness, violent behavior and verbal arrogance that no normal person would use as an asset.

Manginas are protectiing imperialism and are the weak servants of an harmful dictatorship that divides humans !

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (Mar 3, 2013)

@FTH
You obviously have some psychological issues from your past that need working on. Perhaps instead of hanging around internet forums and crying about men being abused you should seek some counseling.

You want to talk about a MANGINA? You're the one who's crying like a little girl about the "poor men who got assaulted by a woman".

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Mar 3, 2013)

well my friend you sound like those post-teenage hypsters who protect feminism to get laid but never reach their goal ! Mangina suits you well.

4 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Mar 6, 2013)

Settle down FTH. You'll lose your virginity one day.

0 upvotes
dpLarry
By dpLarry (Mar 2, 2013)

The photographer didn't go 'calm down guys' but was like 'go go, damn! I'm getting good shots here'

6 upvotes
Taikonaut
By Taikonaut (Mar 2, 2013)

Sounds about right. And because the photographer is a woman she is excused by the police for not intervening but had she been a man he would have been guilty for not intervening. Sexism is alive and well.

12 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Mar 2, 2013)

@Taikonaut

You are correct, and the charge would be abetting (i.e. encouraging); and the case law stipulates that one doesn't have to actively do something to be guilty of abetting as your passivity can be deemed encouragement to wrongdoer.

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 2, 2013)

You can disagree with the photographer's actions, that's fine. But you can't pretend to know her intent, @dpLarry or misrepresent US legal doctrine @Taikonaut and @plevyadophy

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Mar 2, 2013)

@Amadou Diallo

I don't think i have misrepresented US legal doctrine at all. Aiding and abetting is an offence in all common law countries (e.g. Canana, US, UK, South Africa etc) and the definition is pretty much the same in all of them. Unless you wish to point to evidence to the contrary (which I will gladly accept).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Mar 3, 2013)

In the US, pulling a camera out in a situation where it's believed it may escalate the violence IS considered a major ethical and legal no-no, and American TV cameramen are apprised of this fact very early in their career. I'm not saying that's the case here, but it is part of basic training.

3 upvotes
hc44
By hc44 (Mar 7, 2013)

I know the replies here are speculations said in mirth only and that the posters don't really know what happened.

Will present myself as a witness if it comes to that.

"Internet Posting - Serious Business"

0 upvotes
dpLarry
By dpLarry (Mar 2, 2013)

I had a next door neighbour who was a semi pro boxer and his GF was sweet but fooled around behind his back. When they argued she would hit him, leave all kinds of scratch scars on him. But he cannot touch her.

For him to touch her would be assault with a deadly weapon - like a knife or a gun. Different laws apply to him.

He could only hit the walls, and the walls shake.

12 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Mar 2, 2013)

He could have left her. Abuse can be perpetrated by either sex.

2 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Mar 2, 2013)

exactly the point here, and the title of the article is totally inappropriate.
Another thing to add, why did the so called "journalist" took her best prime 35mm 1.4 prime lens & DSLR to go drink a beer with her friend?
Did she expect her to get mad at him and stage the whole scene to accuse him ? I mean, who started what, for what reason? If the man was a recidivist why not just going to the police and leave him ? Did she expect to sue him and get revenge money ?
What perverted society did humans build up ?

2 upvotes
balios
By balios (Mar 2, 2013)

Your next door neighbour could have domestic violence charges filed against his wife and he can leave her at anytime.

Your neighbour allowed himself to get abused because he didn't want to leave his wife, just like countless women allow themselves to be abused for the same reason.

2 upvotes
dpLarry
By dpLarry (Mar 5, 2013)

He could have left her ? ... Sure... easy for you to say... but they're in love and She Loves him and they're both about 20 years old and she's not just sweet but also pretty and cute and have a nice body.

0 upvotes
Taikonaut
By Taikonaut (Mar 2, 2013)

While out at a nightclub I witnessed a couple having a bit of a tiff, she was calling him allsort, hitting, kicking and scratching him while he simply trying to defend himself by pushing her away. It got to a point were he losed it and punch her then all of a sudden security jumped on him and she became a victim,

16 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (Mar 2, 2013)

Too bad you weren't a photo journalist, because your pictures really would have helped establish the fact that domestic violence isn't about guys hitting girls.
An ex-con hitting his girl-friend ? That's a bloody trope.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AllAbusersAreMale

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Mar 2, 2013)

A friend of mine here in Tokyo saw once a man who was almost molesting his girlfriend. When he decided to stop the quarre, the girl became suddenly infuriated against my friend who had to flee before being hit by the stupid pair.

In France, there is an old proverb about intervening in a couple brawl: between the tree and its bark, thou shal't enter the finger (it's to say in english: one shouldn't get involved in other people's family quarre)

1 upvote
Taikonaut
By Taikonaut (Mar 2, 2013)

Obviously only half the story. I mean drink was indeed a factor. The guy is a loser. The woman obviously chooses to be with losers. It is just too easy to portray the woman as a victim while she could have been the instigator. Another woman has flirted with her partner at a bar, so of what, but he didnt gone of with her, she is the one who got madly jealous and left him in a limbo and embarrased him, took his friends with her. Upon arriving home she want him out of the house, were is he gonna go to sleep? Influenced by drinks they only see black and white. Had it been the other way round some would say the man was a dangeroous possesive who cant cope with a another man flirting with his GF.

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
14 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Mar 2, 2013)

Well said. It really annoys me that after 100 years of women running up their gums for equality, and with all our irritating political correctness in the West, whenever there is an issue between a man and a woman it's "always" the man who is to blame. Given the guy's time in jail (and anyone who has been in jail or knows someone who has will know this) it's understandable that the guy is a bit paranoid. The woman invites this photog along on some sort of project about relationships with ex-cons, giving the impression that she understands the issues, and then rather than acting in a way that clearly shows she understands, her grand idea is to kick the dude out on the street, and like you suggest, leave him with nowhere to sleep for the night and if he left nice and peacefully (as the politically correct brigade would have liked) probably tempting him to commit more crime ("the devil finds work for idle hands" as my grand-mother used to say). To be blunt, I have zero sympathy for woman.

11 upvotes
Ed_arizona
By Ed_arizona (Mar 4, 2013)

Nothing new at all Just watch "COPS", nightly occurence in poor areas

0 upvotes
stan_pustylnik
By stan_pustylnik (Mar 2, 2013)

I've been sitting at night railway station waiting for a train and saw husband using most awefull words on his wife over and over. I couldn't understand how he could do it to own soulmate and how his wife was able to take it from him. I remember this episode from 20 years ago.

There is a serious lack in our modern public education system, in my humble opinion, and it is the absence of teaching ethics in same way that we teach reading, writing and algebra skills.

6 upvotes
sportyaccordy
By sportyaccordy (Mar 2, 2013)

Talk about photos telling a story. Wow

1 upvote
tmaras
By tmaras (Mar 2, 2013)

The story behind is such a cliche... ex convict, flirt in a bar, domestic violence after heavy argument with wife, it's nothing we should be particularly interested in, except if we're social workers in the office next block, when it would be our professional duty to try to help these people to settle their lives.

In this case, I have an ugly feeling like we are part of the Jerry Springer show, just dealing with somebody else's business, just for our curiosity. There's nothing special in this story, worthy of making it a whole world's subject of observation. I wonder how reporting became accepted if so meaningless, in a few decades I follow it.

9 upvotes
Leichhardt
By Leichhardt (Mar 2, 2013)

Umm, OK.

0 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (Mar 2, 2013)

it became acceptable to 'report' it the moment the sun & co were invented.
We are simply too obsessed with the misery of other people, because we would rather pretend to care instead of admitting that we get off on it.

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Mar 2, 2013)

And the show of others misery is a reassuring vision as one knows. The phenomenon is called catharsis: seeing others sadness heal our own distress.

Thus, would it be a trick some use again and again calm us down, to make us feel happy of our own fate ? ---> Don't demand too much, citizen, there are a lot of people around who are much more in the mess than you are !

0 upvotes
Gerard Hoffnung
By Gerard Hoffnung (Mar 2, 2013)

Powerful images that show the relationships between some people, that those of us lucky enough to be in long term stable relationships, sometimes struggle to understand.

5 upvotes
snow14
By snow14 (Mar 2, 2013)

Want to see more that just turn your tv on,nothing knew.

1 upvote
backayonder
By backayonder (Mar 2, 2013)

These photo's benefit who exactly?

1 upvote
Gediminas 8
By Gediminas 8 (Mar 2, 2013)

The photog, of course.

3 upvotes
exdeejjjaaaa
By exdeejjjaaaa (Mar 2, 2013)

violence ? it is a staged peddling of photos...

4 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Mar 2, 2013)

That's what I've said too ! The girl doesn't seem to be that hurted (very few bruises under the clothes, no hand mark on her face while been supposed to having been severely slapped...), the photographer is everywhere "at the same time" as to get the ideal angle of view (cf: http://saranaomiphoto.com/Shane-and-Maggie/23/ then http://saranaomiphoto.com/Shane-and-Maggie/24/ ), no broken thing on the floor (usually, men in rage are used to throw away anything) and so on.

And ask you why a man who is supposed to have committed a crime would agree to let a stranger photographer publish a bunch of pictures that accuses him at a court of law, and turns him into a scarecrow everybody would spit at on the whole internet ? Seriously ?

0 upvotes
NancyP
By NancyP (Mar 2, 2013)

FTH, might I suggest that you consider doing photographic reportage on the varieties of adult on adult physical DV that do not involve the most common combination of male assailant and female victim/ sexual partner.

There is no question that the greatest number of severe physical injuries due to DV are inflicted on women by men, due to the gender imbalance in physical size and in weapons use. Other combinations of adult-on-adult DV have a lower incidence, and receive even less attention than the garden variety male assailant/ female victim type: abuse of elder or handicapped spouse by more physically capable spouse (more prevalent than is generally realized); DV within gay male relationships or lesbian relationships; bilateral male-female violence where both parties interpret mutual physical violence as sign of love or sexual attraction; and the real although quite uncommon severe physical abuse of healthy male by healthy but physically weaker female.

1 upvote
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Mar 2, 2013)

In reply to NancyP - a reply bellow my most would have been polite.

"There is no question that the greatest number of severe physical injuries due to DV are inflicted on women by men, due to the gender imbalance in physical size and in weapons use."

Such a simple discriminatory argument !? Because men are (generally) stronger build make them violent persons ? Those are biased arguments, do you actually know how many woman allow themselves to deliberately punch man at home, parties, in the streets for no reason ? The worst part is that they simply get away with it, and people will just laugh at the situation. If the man counters back, he will be assaulted by others or and jailed - girls violence against men is broadcast everyday on lame reality TV shows and became a norm. How would you react if a man would be allowed to punch a girl to stop an argument or prove gender equality ? How would you react if it was socially accepted to beat gay people in public without any consequence?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Mar 3, 2013)

Sorry NancyP but you are wrong. Statistically, the percentage of violent same sex relationships is IDENTICAL, or even slightly greater than the percentage of violent heterosexual ones. In fact, some lesbian activist groups suggest it may be even worse, precisely because it is swept under the carpet and lesbian victims of DV have a very hard time finding "women's groups" that want to help them for ideological reasons.

http://www.pandys.org/articles/lesbiandomesticviolence.html

3 upvotes
StreetPix
By StreetPix (Mar 2, 2013)

This exact same situation has happened several times before, in exactly the same way. Editors, photojournalists, and even advocates tend to agree that showing violence to a wide audience to gather support for funding DV programs etc tends to outweigh the photographer's (supposed) moral obligation to stop a particular incident - excepting dramatic cases in which someones life is in danger, of course. The Guardian did a series of EXCELLENT interviews with photojournalists who "didn't help" and I suggest anyone seriously contemplating photojournalism read it: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/jul/28/gutted-photographers-who-didnt-help

1 upvote
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Mar 2, 2013)

We easily point out men in domestic violence, but lots of woman use psychological violence, harassment, intimidation and physical violence on men as well. The problem being, people will never believe so, minimize the evidence or simply laugh a man out when trying to tell his suffering.
I had a friend (tall and strong) who got beaten very badly by his wife for years, he had several bruises and was sometimes bleeding too. When he showed up to the hospital for alcoholism developed by anxiety, there was no nurse and no doctor who asked him about his scars. He nearly killed himself with alcool, but thanks to the help of his best friend and family, he divorced and his now healthy and has a great job.
Some women will always act like victims, even if they are wrong, abuse their man or have an affair with another man. Crying and playing the victim is an easy thing to do: many cops or jury will fall in this trap. Men can be reduced to silence because they will take the blame no matter what.

12 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (Mar 2, 2013)

While this may be true, it's not really relevant to this story.

6 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 2, 2013)

@JD

The introduction to this article mentions a debate about whether or not the photographer should have intervened instead of documenting the event.

OP's point is that "people will never believe so." Doesn't that imply that documenting domestic violence is necessary? How is that irrelevant?

2 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Mar 2, 2013)

In answer to JDThomas

why not ? It shows domestic violence associated with men's anger, this is an easy shortcut. Like showing black people are more violent than white people, would that sound normal ? No, but many stupid people believed so and still do so, due to years of discrimination

In Quebec some feminism movement faked domestic violence reports in the since the 80's: they multiplied by 5 times true numbers and added false accusation reports to them too. The government still broadcasts several ads where women are beaten by man, covered with blood.
As a result of those campaigns, many young girls feared men and refused to get married - men were demonized to the point that several groups of woman recently stood up for their cause to recover a fair image and stop discrimination.

This is an actual reality and those shortcuts are purely discriminatory towards men. Why not making an accurate reportage about mixed domestic violence? this would be proper journalism.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Mar 2, 2013)

@FTH
I agree with all of your comments.
One of the most common situation is where a guy and a girl have a row in public and the girl thinks it is fine to slap the guy or poor drink over him, either action carried out by a guy would result in a brawl but a woman gets away with it. I for one have told women that if they act like a man they should expect to get treated like one (especially as, for like a hundred years, women have been running up their gums for equality) , which includes getting punched in the face. I am bored to the point of exasperation with this notion of so called "violence against women", coz in my book, generally speaking (and let me stress the word "generally" for the benefit of the pedantic) there is no such thing as "violence against women", there's just violence against bitches .......... coz ladies don't get hit! (and bitches deserve to be). Period.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (Mar 2, 2013)

Why isn't it relevant? Because you aren't talking about THIS story. You are bringing up some other story about some friend of yours.

You don't even mention that actual story that this article is about. You are just ranting about "women beating on men". This clearly isn't the case in this incident.

1 upvote
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Mar 2, 2013)

stop playing the protective card will you, just use some common sense and read me : this article links "domestic violence" (title) with a cliche of abusive men (pictures and text) - this stigmatizes men as being uncontrollable violent animals and being the cause of all "domestic violence"
journalism should be about showing both sides of a story, the story, here being "domestic violence" not "a white trash dude who beat his girl for stupid reasons", the title is totally wrong and discriminates men in general !
Now, if you still don't get it, I feel sorry for you because, by blindly covering an wrongly idealistic point of view, you are not helping gender equality.

4 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Mar 2, 2013)

tell me JDThomas, if the title was "street violence and rapist" and the pictures showed angry black man against "civilised" white people - or "mentally ill people" and the pictures were showing a gay pride - how would you react ? This would be disgusting to everyone. But today, men are considered like evil, we are segregated like other minorities a few decades ago due to generalizations - so stop protecting discrimination and sexism !

4 upvotes
atlien991
By atlien991 (Mar 2, 2013)

@FTH, although the violent male meme is cliche, does that mean it is no longer true. Your logic is flawed in this instance.

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Mar 3, 2013)

apparently many posters agree with me, so you should review your own flawed cliches.

1 upvote
awb1000
By awb1000 (Mar 2, 2013)

This situation is like being in a war zone - the photographer has nothing to regret about how things went down. Fact is, Shane-O is bum. "Please, Maggie, I love you, don't let them take me..." A truly pathetic excuse for a man. Now that these photos are out there he has nowhere to hide.

1 upvote
ptox
By ptox (Mar 1, 2013)

It's facile to cry exploitation and shame: the same argument could be made for conflict photographers across the globe. We recognize the value in bluntly documenting the reality of war; why not the reality of domestic violence?

(I also wonder if the moralists here disagree with the police's advice that intervening would have been the wrong decision.)

7 upvotes
tigrebleu
By tigrebleu (Mar 2, 2013)

I totally agree. People are so quick to condemn the photojournalist, and yet I'd guess most of them never faced such a situation and would probably have done just the same.

Intervening, really? If so, what about the possible consequences? Maybe that man would've hurt her or worse. Maybe this could just have made a bad situation go worse, with that man's anger being sent through the roof because of the photojournalist's intervention.

Second, photojournalists aren't suppose to intervene in such situations, for then they become actors to the story, which can lead to too much subjectivity, instead of just being reporters.

A friend of mine used to work as a cameraman for a local network. After a few years witnessing local events, his urge to play a role in such events lead him to quit his job and go back to college to become a cop. He's since very happy to serve his community as a cop instead of reporting about its events.

So let that photojournalist do her job, and the cops do theirs.

2 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Mar 2, 2013)

@tigerbleu
I don't think much of your friend's choice at all, to me it smacks of rage the kinda "these people need to be locked up!" mentality.
If your friend really wanted to do something, the LAST thing he should have chosen is to be a cop; cops deal with the symptoms and very rarely help any situation. I would have thought that being a youth worker, social worker, housing officer or working in any of the other professions that have an impact on the root causes of our social ills would have been a better choice rather than opting for picking up the pieces left over by society's cock ups (a cop).

2 upvotes
bb42
By bb42 (Mar 2, 2013)

No, "the same argument could _not_ be made for conflict photographers across the globe" - because these conflicts are typically of much larger size and a photographer will not influence them.
That's different here, there is no way the presence of Mrs. Lewkowic could not influence the situation.

0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Mar 1, 2013)

Allow me to completely depart from the "she's a terrible person" parade for a moment.

Having been around similar situations with both males and females flying off the handle, I say as not a small guy that there was really nothing she could have done to make things better aside from physically restrain the man. How many here have tried to physically restrain someone for an extended period? Someone much stronger, as I imagine this man is?

The police were probably right that intervening probably would have only resulted in making him even more angry and getting the both of them assaulted.

So, instead we have photos illustrating a bit of what situations like this can be like. Many may never have any idea otherwise. It's very easy to forget about if you are lucky enough to not be involved or know someone involved.

Kudos to her. I'm glad that no one was seriously hurt and hopefully the guy can get the help he needs and the girlfriend can see herself away from the situation.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
13 upvotes
ptox
By ptox (Mar 1, 2013)

I completely agree.

It's bizarre how quickly others have condemned a fellow photographer for bravely documenting such a difficult subject in close quarters. I'm sure the emotional toll was not insignificant.

4 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (Mar 1, 2013)

It's easy for people who sit around on photo forums crying about what camera features should be on the newest camera to sit back and judge. It's what they do.

Obviously that man has rage problems. He's obviously drunk after being at the bar all night. The man is in very good physical shape and he's just out of prison. Have any of you ever dealt with someone who has been in prison? Not jail, PRISON. They have lived with nothing but fear and violence and will not hesitate to strike out, obviously. They do NOT think like you and I.

I'm sorry newcameralight, but you can talk the talk on a photo forum, but looking at that picture of you and that picture of him, it's easy to see you would NOT have come out a winner in that situation. It's likely you wouldn't have even come out alive.

The photographer did the right thing AND she did her job.

6 upvotes
Taikonaut
By Taikonaut (Mar 2, 2013)

The man may have a rage problem under the influence of alchohol. The woman also has jealous rage problem and knows exactly how to manipulate her partner.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
newcameralight
By newcameralight (Mar 1, 2013)

I love photography and my cameras. But, at some point I would have been using my high dollar Nikon as a brick upside that punks head. No way would I busy myself shooting pictures while some macho punk is beating on a woman. If anybody wants to volunteer info that that girl "disrespected" him and asked for a beating, then he/she needs counseling.

1 upvote
ptox
By ptox (Mar 1, 2013)

You're the true hero of this story.

6 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Mar 2, 2013)

I need counseling!!

0 upvotes
atlien991
By atlien991 (Mar 2, 2013)

I love how stories like this bring out the fascists lol.

0 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Mar 1, 2013)

The photogrpaher should be ashamed of herself for not trying to help.

4 upvotes
edfo4
By edfo4 (Mar 1, 2013)

I agree. Whether or not she had the courage to intervene, she had no business exploiting this tragedy, this crime, for her benefit. Note, that she didn't call the cops. someone else did. She just clicked away. Shame on her.

4 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Mar 2, 2013)

You should be ashamed of denouncing someone you don't know who found herself in a situation you cannot possibly judge with respect to inherent risk of intervention etc. How high and mighty are these responders from their comfy chairs.

@edfo4 She confirmed that the police had been called *before* she continued shooting. And she was brought in to explicitly document the challenges of their life together. AND the police confirmed that it would have been WORSE to intervene. Shame on you for trying to score points at her expense.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Mar 2, 2013)

edfo4 wrote "she had no business exploiting this tragedy, this crime, for her benefit."

How does that square with the article where it says "Lewkowicz received approval to move forward with publishing these images from the victim herself, 'because she feels the photographs might be able to help someone else.' "

Are you saying that the photographer should have gone against the advice of the police and creating more danger, and also ended up with no photos that the victim sincerely found useful to help prevent future tragedies? I don't agree. The victim appears to feel that *she did* benefit from the photographer's actions.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
steelski
By steelski (Mar 1, 2013)

Not to be annoying, but the photographer is pathetic........ I mean, great pictures. but really.
Allowing this to happen, so it can be documented.
I do not need to see what domestic violence is.... I know of its existence. What I would have liked more is the photographer get involved.... or is she a fly flying from dung to table to the wall..... these are not animals we need to observe. That child did not need to see that.
All in the name of photo journalism........?
All in the name of the career ..................?

8 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 1, 2013)

Even if you think she should have intervened, I think saying she 'allowed' it to happen is a stretch. It's also interesting that if you read Lewkowicz's full account that we linked to, you'll find there was at least one other adult present in the house.

4 upvotes
Tlipp
By Tlipp (Mar 1, 2013)

Great post! Could this have been staged?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
steelski
By steelski (Mar 1, 2013)

Already read it.... It should not have gone so far.

1 upvote
steelski
By steelski (Mar 1, 2013)

I doubt its staged... Just exploitative and annoying.
I am in no way saying anything against the photos. but when its time to take the camera away from the face. It Is time.

3 upvotes
panos_m
By panos_m (Mar 1, 2013)

I wonder. Can pictures like these stop domestic violence? I believe not. But then what is the point of these pictures? Please help me understand.

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 1, 2013)

Advocates would argue that a necessary first step is creating awareness. Most of us (fortunately) don't have first-hand experience with domestic violence. Awareness can lead to pressure on public officials, which can lead to legislation involving for instance, support programs for victims, stiffer penalties for perpetrators, etc.
An analogy: Many credit the war photography during Vietnam War, for instance for contributing to a climate that pressed for US withdrawal.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
panos_m
By panos_m (Mar 1, 2013)

@amadou awareness for whom? The police took action and arested him. Why do we have to know?

3 upvotes
steelski
By steelski (Mar 1, 2013)

This is not Vietnam..... A written account is more than enough to picture the picture. I honestly believe that dropping the camera and picking up the phone could have been a more appropriate response from the journo. And a lot more helpful.
A family unit on the brink, tattoo man, unemployed step something trying to do right..... getting it wrong....
I never heard that one before...
Please.
Vultures!!!!

1 upvote
panos_m
By panos_m (Mar 1, 2013)

@amadou about vietnam war photos. Noone knows for sure if they are contributed to the end. After all this violence captured in photographs there is still violence! It is something beyond the power of photography.

0 upvotes
ptox
By ptox (Mar 1, 2013)

steelski: what's the point of calling 911 twice? And what do you make of the victim's approval to publish the pictures? Are we to understand you think your opinion is more important?

0 upvotes
aliminator
By aliminator (Mar 2, 2013)

@Amadou Most of us (fortunately) don't have first-hand experience with domestic violence.

That is not true. Most of us did experience domestic violence. The difference is that the criminal would throw his fists in anger while more gentle person would yell and throw dishes on the floor.

0 upvotes
mandophoto
By mandophoto (Mar 1, 2013)

This is not the first nor hopefully last time a courageous photographer reveals truth within Paradise. For those here who believe this kind of photography is inappropriate for the public, be aware that hiding the truth is akin to enabling violence. The courageous young woman (victim,) in approving the publication of these photographs is doing for women and children (the victims of most violence) what too many in our society can't: tell the truth.

7 upvotes
thomasw333
By thomasw333 (Mar 1, 2013)

Tell the Truth! mandophoto is exactly right.

0 upvotes
bb42
By bb42 (Mar 2, 2013)

Truth is always complex.
Any picture is a selection.

0 upvotes
tallguy600
By tallguy600 (Mar 1, 2013)

Poor kids!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Mar 1, 2013)

Court evidence, perhaps. Not for public exhibit. One has to suspect that the accused was either unaware of the camera, due to heavy intoxication or idiocy, or because the camera was hidden. Otherwise, it's hard to comprehend why anything transpire or why the camera was not destroyed or worse. This was either a very dangerous and rash way to seek sensational photos, or else the male willfully went along with a "hoax" in order to get a psychiatrist to boast his dosage of "meds."

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 1, 2013)

You should read the photographer's full account that we linked to in the story. She met the couple much earlier and they agreed to let her document their lives as part of a project about ex-offenders. There's nothing in her account to suggest the camera was hidden.

5 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Mar 2, 2013)

And as if by chance, the husband decides to knock his wife the very day a total stranger stands here in their house with a camera shooting like a mad. Sure !

Does one here have a single idea of what a man in rage looks like ? He can break anything, hit anybody around and over all can't bear that anyone point a camera at him when he goes berzerk. For my part, I don't buy the story.

0 upvotes
rockjano
By rockjano (Mar 1, 2013)

Great emotional pictures.

The question if the people are involved happy about that these pics went public...

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 1, 2013)

Nex to last paragraph:
"It's also worth noting that Lewkowicz received approval to move forward with publishing these images from the victim herself, 'because she feels the photographs might be able to help someone else.'"

0 upvotes
bb42
By bb42 (Mar 2, 2013)

And the guy was not asked?

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Mar 2, 2013)

It smells the set up, plain and simple. The photographer needed to get some audience to advertise herself, while this family maybe needed some money or anything else. The man had to give his approval for these pictures to be published, and why the hell a guy committing a crime would give his approval to publish some pictures that accuse him ? No way, just use your brain !

By the way, when one has seen the full serie (clic on the picture here: http://saranaomiphoto.com/Shane-and-Maggie/1/ ) it feels more and more stagged, sort of faux-EDtv (cf: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDtv )

0 upvotes
BrianSaunders
By BrianSaunders (Mar 2, 2013)

@Amadou Diallo. I'm not a psychiatrist but you made a Freudian Slip with the first word in your reply. You wrote "NEX". Are you feeling guilt that a in depth review of the NEX 6 still is not out :-))

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Mar 3, 2013)

That's probably because the NEX will be a big shock, like a slap in the face ?

Forget then the old Sony slogan: "Sony, thank for the smile, you give to me"

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Mar 1, 2013)

There are times when the images of real life DV are meant to be for investigators only and not for public consumption.

.

2 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Mar 1, 2013)

I'd think you could make the argument that at a time when the US Congress was struggling with authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, that a project like this may influence public opinion and thus political pressure.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
BrianSaunders
By BrianSaunders (Mar 2, 2013)

@Amadou Diallo.

Instead of wasting your time with replies to this story, how bout writing some needed camera reviews.

0 upvotes
capanikon
By capanikon (Mar 1, 2013)

DV is awful. But it's not the first time a PJ has covered it. I remember Donna Ferrato's photos of DV from the 1980s, I think. Shot on film. These kind of events get even worse when there are firearms in the home.

http://donnaferrato.com/domestic-violence/

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Mar 1, 2013)

Yeah...real tough guy...rips his shirt off and beats his woman. What a loser.

7 upvotes
Swaleck
By Swaleck (Mar 1, 2013)

So true. I'm a cop, domestic violence is rampant and a huge concern everywhere. As for the con, big surprise he's going back into the system.

1 upvote
stratplaya
By stratplaya (Mar 1, 2013)

This girl has made some bad choices in her life.

8 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Mar 1, 2013)

Ahh......how about her loser boyfriend who has made WORSE decisions in his life...at least based on the limited back-story. How typical....blame the victim.

Your comment insinuates that it is somehow her fault...or that she asked for it.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Mar 1, 2013)

Clint, I'm absolutely sure that wasn't stratsplaya's intention. Look at the guy; someone with no contact with certain social realities will be forgiven to wonder why that woman chose such a despicable creature to share her life. That's not the same as blaming the victim.

2 upvotes
austin design
By austin design (Mar 1, 2013)

Nine times out of ten, those who repeat the easy, popular catch-phrase, "blame the victim", commit an either/or fallacy, unnecessarily excluding the possibility that BOTH parties may somehow be responsible in a given situation. It's a sign of society's collectively-deteriorating intellect, always looking for that one, finite answer -- simple and satisfying -- to a question.

4 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Mar 1, 2013)

Austin - I don't think that it's an either/or thing at all. You are likely quite correct that it may have been both in this situation.....but to come on here like the OP and say 'she made some bad choices' is just a little lopsided....so I leveled the field.

0 upvotes
austin design
By austin design (Apr 1, 2013)

Clint, it's only lopsided if the OP asserted that the abuse victim's poor choices somehow exonerated her abuser -- and he asserted no such thing.

0 upvotes
stan_pustylnik
By stan_pustylnik (Mar 1, 2013)

Half of world lives like this, unfortunetelly.

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
11 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Mar 1, 2013)

I hope not literally half, but if it is even 1% that is still way too much.

1 upvote
thomasw333
By thomasw333 (Mar 1, 2013)

I have seen this first hand, I think it is more common than people think, it is more than unfortunate. It is disgusting.

2 upvotes
n3eg
By n3eg (Mar 3, 2013)

If you intervene in a domestic violence situation, both parties can turn their anger toward you. She (the photographer) was right in what she did. Law enforcement would say the same thing.

2 upvotes
Total comments: 269
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