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What if verbal abuse left the same scars as physical abuse? Would it be taken more seriously? That’s what photographer Richard Johnson hopes to accomplish with his new photo project, “Weapons of Choice.”

The series uses a makeup artist to put bruises and scars on photo subjects. Embedded in these violent marks are some hateful words typically associated with abuse, such as “Stupid,” “Dumb,” “Trash” and others that are much, much worse.

Photo Credit: Photographer Richard Johnson

Article Source: Source 

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Weapon of Choice: the invisible scars of emotional abuse can last a lifetime.

"The Weapon of Choice Project was conceived by photographer ©Rich Johnson to provide a visual demonstration of the power of verbal abuse, and it’s meant to provoke a conversation about the problems of domestic violence, child abuse, and bullying.”

"When interviewing subjects about the pain they suffered, Johnson found that in general, physical abuse and emotional abuse were both weapons that the offender chose to use. However, when it came to verbal abuse and bullying, Johnson explained that many people have a “sticks and stones” attitude, not paying tribute to the actual harm that it does to a person. Johnson felt that if people could see these photographs and see the “emotional abuse” in the physical form, more people may take this issue more seriously." -  fstoppers

"We presented each participant in the Weapon of Choice Project with a list of hurtful words, and we asked them to choose a word that had significance to them (some volunteered words we didn’t [have on our list]).  At first, they were just words on list. But as each participant chose a word — the word that would be painted on their body and captured in a photograph — the words took on much more significance." - petapixel

They will be adding new images to their gallery each day in May, and they will encourage productive conversation on their Facebook page.

all images ©rich johnson - spectacle photo

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What if verbal abuse left the same scars as physical abuse? Would it be taken more seriously? That’s what photographer Richard Johnson hopes to accomplish with his new photo project, “Weapon of Choice.”

The series uses a makeup artist to put bruises and scars on photo subjects. Embedded in these violent marks are some hateful words typically associated with abuse, such as “Stupid,” “Dumb,” “Trash” and others that are much, much worse.

Photo Credit: Photographer Richard Johnson

Article Source: Source 

Sticks and stones (trigger warning)

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me…” Artist Rich Johnson dispels the old saying with a powerful collection of images.

The Weapons of Choice project strives to provide a visual demonstration of the power of verbal abuse

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These photos aim to provoke conversation about the problems of domestic violence, child abuse, and bullying.

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"We called the project “Weapon of Choice” because we found that physical abuse and verbal abuse often go hand-in-hand, and the choice to render emotional harm rather than physical harm is just that: a choice" - Rich Johnson

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Professional Makeup artists donated their time to the project to create realistic looking injuries on the models.

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"The scars of emotional abuse are invisible, and victims of abuse don’t often talk about it." -Rich Johnson

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"I want people who are quick to dismiss bullying or verbal abuse to take a second look. We’re going to make the use of these photos free for non-profit organizations serving victims of domestic violence, child abuse, or bullying, and I hope they can use these photos to spread awareness of the problem" -Rich Johnson

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According to the project crew, the younger children who took part said the word they identified as the worst word, the word they were shy to say aloud - the word they only dared to whisper - was “stupid.”

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"A lot of people have a "sticks and stones" attitude towards bullying and verbal abuse, but I kept hearing stories about how deeply it affects people. I felt that if people could see these photographs, more people might take this issue seriously" - Rich Johnson

Most of the children who participated had been affected by bullying, and they told Rich and his team about their experiences.

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Some of their stories surprised not only the project crew, but also the children’s parents, who in some cases had never heard about the experiences the children recalled.

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"It’s one thing for a parent to volunteer their children to participate in an anti-abuse campaign, but once they showed up to the studio and saw the list of hurtful words that we had prepared, they were uncomfortable picking out a bad word that would be painted on their kid’s face. Some parents couldn’t do it, and they said they trusted me to pick the word. A word has a lot more gravity when you contemplate literally wearing it on your face."  - Rich Johnson

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"My brothers and sisters and I were all abused as children — physically and emotionally. For me, I feel like the verbal abuse hasn’t had a life-long impact, but I know that for some of my siblings, it’s deeply affected their lives." - Rich Johnson

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"There were people that I’ve known for a long time who participated in this project, and I heard personal stories of abuse that really surprised me, stories I had never heard … It was a cathartic experience for a lot of us" - Rich Johnson

Rich discovered that much of the verbal abuse directed at women and teen-aged girls was sexual in nature.

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The woman who had posed for this picture was once often told that she was “less than trash.” Being called “trash,” she said, would have been an upgrade.

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"One thing that really became apparent during the shoot is that in any abuse situation, there are three people: the abuser, the abused, and a witness. I don’t think I’ve ever been the abuser in my life, but I realized that I’ve been a passive witness to abuse — I didn’t do anything to report it or stop it — and that’s just as bad." - Rich Johnson

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Source 

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Most parents will occasionally say something derogatory to their children. This is not necessarily verbal abuse. But it *is* abusive to launch frequent verbal attacks on a child’s appearance, intelligence, competence, or value as a human being.
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-Toxic Parents by Susan Forward

posting this because i’ve literally never heard an actual concise and specific definition of verbal abuse vs a casual criticism—included in the source is a link to a pdf download of this book

So I go bored in class and drew a thing. It’s not very good but whatever. THe outlines of her face and features are made up of words from authority figures like teachers or parents.
And then it says “so how do authorities shape us? I’ll tell you how. -they tell us it’s okay to be different, to fight conformity. But then when they see that we HAVEN’T conformed, they tell us we’ve failed. And us? We believe them.”

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I wrote this poem because recently in my theatre class, we had a long discussion about bullying. My friend, dickleau, then shared her story about being bullied up until highschool. I remembered how someone told me that I was a fat bitch and I was going to die. I was so moved by my classmates’ stories that I sat down and started writing. This is the result.


My poem. Please do not repost. If used in other works or places, please give credit.

You are not obligated to let your parents destroy you.
Just because you came out of your mother’s body does not give her a right to destroy yours.
Your father is supposed to at least help pay for your education; paying for your rights does not mean he’s allowed to scream at you for being useless.
Defending yourself is not talking back.
You should be able to feel happy about coming home after school.
If it doesn’t feel right,
if it upsets you,
it’s probably not right.
Blood is thicker than water,
but if blood is hurting you,
you are not obligated to love it.
—  A Note on Abuse

[TW Suicide]

I once had a guy tell me if I stop being his girlfriend he would kill himself. He constantly verbally abused me and made me feel worthless, i ended up breaking down and telling my mum about it. She had to get the police involved just to get him to leave me alone, this all happened when I was 14.

(submitted by anonymous)

Wait, you put on weight? Well, I’m sorry, but that’s why he beat you then; you can’t expect a man to be happy about his girlfriend becoming a pig.
—  Masters Degree in Psychology student, submitted by the-crazy-geek
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