Give Abuse A Voice
Incensed by what I saw unfold between adored British personality Nigella Lawson & her husband Charles Saatchi, my heart ached, my eyes stung and I felt myself crumble beneath the flash backs of my own personal abuse.
Last week, Nigella Lawson was photographed by a freelance journalist at the famous London hot spot ‘Scotts' where she was dining with the her husband, renowned art collector and well known business man Charles Saatchi. Mr Saatchi let his temper get the better of him and he was photograph
ed many times with his hands around Ms Lawson's neck, screaming profanities her way and bringing her to tears.
This incident ignited a fire deep within my gut, a gut-wrenching sense of helplessness took over every inch of my body. I reacted the way I always did and quickly brushed it aside, something I was accustomed to doing, something I did all my life. I kept my ‘mini-breakdown' to myself and kept going.
However, my integrity was calling on me to be my word. An avid crusader for ‘women to have a voice', I realised in that moment I had silenced mine. As a friend questioned the intention of the photographer and asked why no one had stepped in, my inner voice got reactivated and here it is on loud speaker:
What Nigella Lawson has done for victims of abuse everywhere can be one of her many defining moments, if chooses it to be. Let's hope the passionate, flamboyant, creative, business woman that she is, shines and she uses this moment to grow even more than her life challenges have required her to.
In my personal opinion, the clicking of the camera was perverse, given the delicate private situation.
However, what is possibly more perverse than this – is the fact that Mr Saatchi lost control in public. He took his hands to his wife and assaulted her physically and verbally, that is more perverse than any photographers intentions.
Saying all this, the photographer is just doing their job. When you are a celebrity, paparazzi is your new best friend, it comes with the turf. In this circumstance it could actually be Nigella's too. Exposing abuse – mental, physical, sexual in the same space as a celebrity gives abuse the exposure it needs. Those images told a thousand familiar stories for those that have been abused and helps give a voice to those that don't use theirs.
Why no one steps in? Don't be so quick to judge. There is no correct way to address this. The waiting staff fear for their livelihoods. The diners worry about themselves, stepping into the sacred space of someone else's marriage and the possible repercussions on her are a mental debate worth having. Intervening between abuser and victim can make it tougher on the victim behind closed doors. What these images will do is allow her the opportunity to tell the truth and take action – that's a very powerful situation for her to be in – that in itself is a result. There will be less ”he said/she said”, because those images are now living proof.
Ultimately SHE has to take a stand for herself, society can do nothing until she takes action, which ‘appears' to be the case here. Another good result!
The brutal fact is, the horror of abuse never leaves you and it is a living reality for women, men and children worldwide. It's a terrifying existence if you don't acknowledge it, start to address it and get real to what reactivates you to drop back into victim/abuser mode. I hope Nigella gets the courage and power to take her life back into her own hands and heal.
To the photographer – as much as your motives may forever be questioned, thank you, you gave vision to the abuse and now let's have someone give voice to it.
Ms Lawson- you may not know this now, but thank you for giving me another opportunity to add voice to the chaos and add voice to the ‘no-voice' of a victim of abuse. Sooner, rather than later, we shall join together standing as one and be pioneers, not victims.
I am a Personal fashion stylist. Nutritionist. Motivational speaker. Writer. Personal shopper volunteer at Dress for Success.
My Focus: Have women create their own brand, voice, style & confidence.