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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Should pictures like this (violence against women) be shown?

30 replies

BertieBotts · 05/03/2011 23:38

I was just on the Sun website, reason irrelevant, but on the front page there was a thumbnail picture of this article about Tirion Lewis, who was beaten up by her boyfriend. The picture shocked me, because although of course I know violence against women exists, I've never seen it so clearly in-your-face before, if that makes sense? It just brought it home to me and made me feel very angry and upset.

The picture is here, warning, it is extremely graphic and is distressing.

It just made me think - should pictures like this be in the public domain? Does it help to see the real effects of domestic violence, or is it just sensationalising it? I can't decide what I think about it. That poor girl :( and thousands like her. :( Angry

OP posts:
ShavingGodfreysPrivates · 05/03/2011 23:45

That is appalling.

I think it does help for people who are in denial about DV to see just how bad things can get for women in this situation.

It's a bit like when Leah Betts parents released the picture of her to try and educate people about the effects of ecstasy (although that was nowhere near as graphic).

If you don't show it then it remains, quite literally, a hidden problem imo.

rinabean · 05/03/2011 23:48

It's sensationalist, yes, but maybe it needs to be. We're not out of the age of "it's just a domestic" yet. There's no "just" about it and we need to get that across to every single person out there.

BertieBotts · 06/03/2011 00:03

Yes I agree. A lot of people don't take DV seriously or just see it as something that happens behind closed doors etc. I was wondering today what would have to happen before society stops ignoring things like this and says actually, no, we're not going to let people do this or get away with it.

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dittany · 06/03/2011 01:03

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sakura · 06/03/2011 05:37

I think it normalises violence against women.
It's not as though you can go through the day without seeing violence against women. YOu only have to turn on the news for a few minutes, or read the paper, or watch the clip of any garden variety music artists.
Violence against women is sensationalized, eroticized, we are saturated by it, and through this method it becomes trivialised.

sakura · 06/03/2011 05:43

Try an experiment. Don't watch any TV or films for 6 months. I've done this. When you turn the screen back on you're no longer desensitized and images that you previously found okay to watch are unbearable.

GotArt · 06/03/2011 05:57

Awful. I think the Sun thought it was ok to print it cause he is a paranoid schizophrenic so somehow not responsible for his actions and hence makes us slight against it, iyswim. I would like to know if he is getting the help he apparently needs and feels remorse.

thefinerthingsinlife · 06/03/2011 07:29

Bloody hell, poor poor girl.

I'm in two minds whether having images like this in the media is good or bad. On one hand it shows how awful and damaging DV is. I am fully aware of how awful it is and I opened that link and burst into tears. However is seeing these pictures in the papers next to some z-list celeb desensitising people and normalising it as part of life.

thefinerthingsinlife · 06/03/2011 07:38

The other thing the really annoys me. Violence isn't a 'trait' of schizophrenia. Whenever there is something like this or a murder/rape/etc the media seem to look for a way to show how different 'they' are from 'us'. Which which portrays the perperator as a 'monster' meaning Joe Bloggs down the road would never do something like this when in fact it's more likely to be Joe Bloggs.

GlynisIsFixed · 06/03/2011 07:51

I don't think there is any gain to be had by publishing pictures in this way, apart from to sell the 'news'paper.

It's alongside a sensationalist article, which seems to highlight the 'abonormality' of it all therefore exhonorating the behaviour.

And the picture looks airbrushed, especially around the eyes Sad

Why have they needed to 'touch up' such an horrific sight? Was it too awful or not awful enough? (that's a rhetorical Q btw, I really don't need the answer)

It has sickened me on many levels though, we do need to keep the message going, DV must not be accepted. Ever.

msrisotto · 06/03/2011 07:59

thefinerthingsinlife I agree with you completely. So long as he had an "excuse" the sun were happy to do the story.

However, I am in two minds. I think without publicising it, it becomes kept behind closed doors and no one knows about it. Awareness needs to be raised.

claig · 06/03/2011 09:07

I think the picture does need to be shown. It shows how horrific it really is, in case some people think it was just a slap. It gets people to treat it very seriously, to be outraged at it and makes them demand justice. A picture like that gives nobody the chance to excuse it or pretend it isn't that bad.

It is a bit like pictures of war. Our papers don't publish the results of collateral damage, but some countries do publish them. If our papers published them, then changes would have to be made.

Unrulysun · 06/03/2011 09:16

I'm also offended by 'Battered Beauty' and 'pretty student'. Don't beat up attractive women (but you can do whatever you want to ugly ones?)

SardineQueen · 06/03/2011 10:01

I'm tending toward Sakura's view I think. A lot of television is entirely based on women being beaten and murdered from what I can see. So I'm not at all sure this is the right way to go about it.

De-sensitisation definitely happens. It has happened with pictures on the news of people around the world starving. Ever more extreme images need to be shown to prompt the same reaction in the viewer.

I'm just not sure what the answer is.

HandDivedScallopsrgreat · 06/03/2011 10:34

I agree SQ about the extreme images. It could become almost a competition which is no good place to go! De-sensitisation definitely occurs with violent photos/images, in addition, there is also evidence that people's empathy towards others in general (not just about violence) is also reduced.

Perhaps more lines in a newspaper about these cases and the after effects would be better? Because let's face it there isn't much in depth discussion about how this came to be or even how she is now. In fact it is all about how she looked before and how she looked after the attack. Nothing about her, or how she's coping etc. She is still just a face rather than a person.

HandDivedScallopsrgreat · 06/03/2011 10:35

"She is still just a face rather than a person" - just to clarify that is how I think The Sun has portrayed her, not what I think she is!!

RealityIsKnockedUp · 06/03/2011 10:47

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HandDivedScallopsrgreat · 06/03/2011 10:52

That is a much better piece about her and her ordeal Reality, thanks for that. And you are right it is horrendous and upsetting. I hope she is getting her life back now.

thefinerthingsinlife · 06/03/2011 10:57

Thanks for the link Reality.

Without a doubt he should have been charged with attempted murder

ShavingGodfreysPrivates · 06/03/2011 11:39

Whilst the reporting in the second link is far superior to that of The Sun (really? who'd have guessed!) I think it should show the pictures of her injuries, assuming she was comfortable with it.

People who haven't seen the picture wouldn't be able to gauge the sheer horror of it by looking at the pictures of her now she is recovered. All they will see is a pretty, smiling face and would prbably assume her injuries couldn't have been 'that bad' if she looks as good as she does now.

The article also describes her as "beautiful" in it's first paragraph - and why not, she is indeed a very beautiful girl.

Janos · 06/03/2011 12:10

I'm not sure about this - whether it's right to show the pictures, I mean.

On the one hand, I think it's right that people should be aware of the horrific reality of domestic violence.

OTOH it is desensitising and what about her right to privacy?

Thank you for posting that link, Reality, its good to see the other side.

Mamaz0n · 06/03/2011 12:21

I think that there is still a (thankfully dwindling) number out there who believe that it is perfectly ok to give their wives a "slap"

I think that many turn a blind eye to their pals who they know are assaulting their partners.

I think if a photo like that is enough to hit home to these people that domestic violence escelates, that it goes from the odd push and shove to a punch and kick, to a full on assault.

OF course there are some(many) animals that jump straight in at the assault, but for most it is a slow build up. Starting with emotional abuse and controlling behaviour.

The feminist in me hates the fact that they have made such a big deal of the fact that this poor woman is so beautifull, that it is somehow so much worse because she wasnt some council estate mum of 5 or whatever.
However that also means that they (probably rightly) think their readers do beleive that things like this don't happen to nice girls.

That domestic violence is the scurge of the underclass. That it is only the poor ill educated men that behave in sucha way.
And only the low class girls who know no better that chose to stay with them.

garlicbutter · 06/03/2011 17:13

I think the fact that the picture has shocked people is good. Images like this so make it into the national media sometimes - not often enough to desensitise an audience, imo, just enough to remind us what 'battering' means. They are not always of injuries caused by "one of those schizos", sometimes the guy has no ready defence and goes down for attempted murder.

At first I was puzzled as to why the Sun was telling an 18-month-old story but, it seems, Tirion has chosen to make her ordeal public and has released the photo. Perhaps her ex is coming up for review, and she wants some reminders of what he did in the public domain.

Not particuarly relevant but I also wondered about the bad retouching! Suspect it was to emphasise the clear knuckle marks under her left eye.


ShavingGodfreysPrivates · 06/03/2011 17:17


The case has only just come to court, he's awaiting sentence I think.

Janos · 06/03/2011 17:28

Yes, he'll be sentenced on the 18th of March.

Didn't realise she had authorised release of the that true?

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