Laura Pannack, Solace

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November 2020

Laura writes about this commission here:

‘One call relating to domestic abuse was made to police every 30 seconds in the first seven weeks’

Statistics like this made me shudder during lockdown, feeling trapped at home I suddenly jolted into feeling very grateful. So I was pleased when Solace asked me to work with them on a campaign to help raise awareness of domestic abuse.

Unfortunately we found ourselves in a scene from ET. Masks, gloves and hand-sanitiser to the max. Building a relationship and helping people feel comfortable can be challenging at the best of times. Adorning a demonic a mask and edging away to keep distance wasn’t ideal. Thankfully the women we were working with were very laid back and the refuge had been well prepped ahead of time to ensure everyone was at ease.

The concept was to remind us that running away to escape domestic abuse is a last resort. Unfortunately many refuge centres don’t have the facilities and funding they need. The environment is basic and safe but families are often squeezed into one small room.

As we sat in the garden for lunch we all reflected on the stories we had heard and how it had been a challenge for one woman to return to the refuge for the shoot. It brought back mixed feelings that were indescribable.

I’m grateful to the wonderful team and the woman that helped us. I hope that funding can be available to help too many who have the courage to flee and require essential support.

https://www.solacewomensaid.org/empty

In the UK, call the national domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247, or visit Women’s Aid.