SAN ANGELO, Texas — To raise awareness on domestic violence, employees and volunteers from the San Angelo Family Shelter took part in “The Black Eye Project.”
“I’m just trying to make it look as realistic as possible,” said Sarah Falknar as she applied makeup to her eye.
In the U.S. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by their partner.
To raise awareness on domestic violence, employees and volunteers from the San Angelo Family Shelter took part in “The Black Eye Project.”
Lorena Ramirez and Sarah Falknar took part in the social experiment to raise awareness and applied makeup to resemble a black eye.
“We go around seeing the reactions in the community to see if we’re invisible or visible to others with a black eye on our face,” explained Lorena.
The goal of the project was to spark meaningful conversations with people in the community about domestic violence.
Many people the two encountered asked questions and offered help.
“Most people do give us the reaction of, ‘what happened?’ As a student in college, I did have a lot of classmates asking what was going on and how they could help,” said Lorena.
Others kept walking, avoided eye contact and ignored the black eye altogether. According to Lorena, the two became engaged in the role of the victim. She said it hurt when others ignored the condition, and the two were amazed that even those that they interacted with on a daily basis did nothing to help.
While they talked to people who asked about their condition, they offered information on domestic violence and resources. They hope others can use the information to help someone in need.
“When somebody else might come up in the future that may be a victim, people in the community may know how to respond and help that victim,” explained Sarah.
And they want victims to know that they can come forward and ask for help.
“Don’t just hide it. You have a voice. We want to hear your voice. You are a victim and it is not your fault,” added Lorena.
The Family Shelter has been providing emergency shelter, services, and guidance to victims of domestic violence and their families for over 30 years. The shelter focuses on improving the lives of victims of family violence through safety, education, advocacy and support. “The Black Eye Project” was part of the shelter’s 2019 events on domestic violence. On October 29th, they will have a candlelight vigil for victims of domestic violence at the San Angelo Performing Arts Center at 6:00p.m.