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Josh Cole

Mrs. Dott

AOIT English III

25 October, 2017

Abuse in a Childs Eyes

What does a child think when she watches her parents involved in a physical fight? In the

image titled, Domestic Violence, by Woodrow J. Hinton III, a young girl in a onesie, gripping

her teddy bear, observes this very scenario late at night. The shadows of an enraged father towers

above a mother bent over in pain from the recent beating. Their child stands in another room,

with the only source of light emitting from the violent scene. Even though the young girl isn't the

one suffering from physical scars, she is still suffering. Domestic violence causes pain for

everyone in the household, even if it isnt the intended victim.

The artists choice of images influences the viewers thoughts on the scenario about who

the abusers are and who the victims are. Having a father stand over the mother with an

accusational gesture and his mouth posed to appear as if hes yelling makes the viewers think

that he is the abuser in this situation. A mother bent over with her hands out in an open and weak

gesture makes her appear as the victim in the image. Although, the daughter is also a victim just

by observing the fight due to the psychological trauma that can be caused just by being near the

scene. According to statistics, children who are exposed to battering become fearful and

anxious (The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children). Children are affected by the tension

and stress in the household, which means that they will also be victims of violence, even if they

arent receiving the beating. The images show just how much suffering there is in this household

and whose to blame.

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The choice of colors is an important detail for this image since the parents arent actually

drawn out like their child, they just appear as black shadows. This is an important observation

since it doesnt mean that the child has to view the fight with their own eyes since the shadows

arent the actual events. Research suggests that when it comes to children witnessing domestic

violence, witnessing can mean seeing actual incidents of physical/and or sexual abuse. It can

mean hearing threats or fighting noises from another room. Children may also observe the

aftermath of physical abuse such as blood, bruises, tears, torn clothing, and broken items. Finally

children may be aware of the tension in the home such as their mothers fearfulness when the

abusers car pulls into the driveway (The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children).

Projecting the parents as shadows means that these events are always in the house, like the other

shadows of the railing and the walls. Even if the parents arent home, their little girl is still

suffering. The colors show abuse that has been implanted in the walls of the house and cant be

taken out unless the victims get the help they need.

A detail the artist added that most viewers might not notice is the picture on the wall of

this familys lie to the rest of the world about how happy they are. Most victims of abuse dont

get the help and care they require after these incidents since they fear the abuser and what else

they might do. An average of 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive

medical care for their injuries (NCADV | National Coalition Against Domestic Violence).

This suggests that families lie about their happiness to those around them and act like they are a

normal family that doesnt have issues. They dont visit hospitals or talk to authorities about the

pain they are in. The picture on the wall falls into the idea that the mother is not receiving help

for her injuries, or her daughters. Both their injuries remain, physical and mental.
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The overall purpose the artist is trying to reach is informing the public just how awful

domestic violence truly is. An abuser isnt likely to stop beating the most important people in

their lives until they are stopped. According to data, domestic violence occurs when the abuser

believes that abuse is acceptable, justified, or unlikely to be reported (Domestic Violence).

Domestic violence is caused by those closest to a person and hurts anyone else in a household

environment. The audience is expected to check on the people around them to make sure that

those around them arent hurt and are safe in their own homes. Locating the sources of abuse is

critical in handling the problem and stopping future victims from appearing, but finding them is

not an easy job. Showing the actual scene at home causes everyone to think about this problem

and hopefully stop it in the future.

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Works Cited:

Hinton, Woodrow J.. Domestic Violence. March 22, 2008, painting, coroflot.com.

Domestic violence. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Oct. 2017,


The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children. Effects of Domestic Violence on Children,


NCADV | National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The Nation's Leading Grassroots

Voice on Domestic Violence, NCDAV, ncadv.org/statistics.