In Her Own Home
“…the most dangerous place for a woman in this country is her own home, and she’s most likely to be beaten or killed by a man she knows.”
-Gloria Steinem in an October 2015 interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air.
The degrees of separation between survivors of sexual or domestic abuse and “us” are perceived to be many. In truth, these instances of violence are not isolated to “bad neighborhoods” or remote areas. Domestic and sexual abuse happens in suburban homes, unassuming apartment complexes, on your street--everywhere. The event that makes these places unique has not altered the landscape in any noticeable way.
In In Her Own Home, I work in memorium for the survivors who have emerged from the landscape and shows these occurrences are ubiquitous. By excavating national police logs, the addresses that have been reported as sites for abuse are easily collected and traveled to. I’ve found the locations unsettlingly ordinary. This confirms that one can never assume the kind of behavior that materializes behind closed doors. These are pictures of the nothingness that history leaves behind. Yet they are haunted by the knowledge of the horror that has taken place there. It is a different type of violence and tragedy in America--the kind that is not sensationalized but covered up.
604 Woodside Drive, 2, Iowa City, Iowa, 52246
199 Cuyahoga Street, Akron, Ohio, 44302
Hilltop Mobile Home Park, Iowa City, Iowa, 52240
1569 Claudia Avenue, Akron, Ohio, 44301
1541 West Martin Luther King Boulevard, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 72701
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SPEakOp (SPE Opinion) is a series of think-pieces.