This Painting Narrates the personal story of Danielle. Danielle is a survivor of severe domestic
and sexual abuse.
Her perceived social expectations of being a good woman and mom kept her in an abusive relationship for far too long. Danielle’s relationship left her almost dead and unable to hear from her left ear. This is symbolically seen in the painting through the three circles, sound resonating from within her. Danielle’s left hand cups by her deaf ear, indicating her desire for the unheard to be heard. With her own situation she felt as though she couldn’t communicate her abuse to others. She now knows that silence just continues the cycle of suffering.
The dot in the middle of her hand represents the “Black Dot Project”, the adopted symbol to discreetly announce to others that one is in an abusive relationship. In the painting one can see a red diamond, her favorite color and an announcement of being out of her abusive relationship. Danielle was also a victim of sexual abuse. This abuse was committed by people that she trusted. The symbol connecting the circles represent sexual abuse victims. During the formal report of the abuse, Danielle felt that interrogators and some community members were more committed to asking her what she did to deserve her abuse, rather than expressing concern for her well being. This treatment was discouraging and and made her feel regretful in reporting her assault rather then supported. She hope that with
Both the African patterns found on Danielle’s hands, as well as those in the circles within the background, are symbols for female warrior strength and resilience. Something that she now embodies. Currently, Danielle has created a non-profit organization for abused women. This organization helps collect goods for women in need, primarily in shelters. Through her experiences were harrowing, Danielle feels like she would not be the person she is today and has successfully used her past as a catalyst to help herself and others