the places of violence
Carolina Dutca
Documentary photographer from Transnistria region, specializing in long-term projects on human rights
In her documentary series The Places of Violence, she presents anonymous stories of women who suffered from domestic violence. Using methods of documentary and archival photography, as well as working with audio-interviews and mini-installations, the author attracts public attention to the problem and makes you think about the consequences of domestic violence
1
I am safe now
My husband drank a lot, rarely worked and often beat me. Once he tried to hang me, but usually he just tried to throttle me. 'Accept me the way I am. You are nobody and no one will help you,' he said every time I wanted to leave. We did not have papers, my child and I, which stopped me from taking any steps.

My luck began with a helpline number and continued in the crisis center. Here they helped us with our papers. Now I feel safe.
A law on domestic violence had been drafted and is under review. Nongovernmental organizations have been campaigning for such legislation
— Thomas Hammarberg, UN Senior Expert on Human Rights in Transnistrian region, February, 2013
2
A woman must obey
35, 7 % of the women interviewed reported having suffered physical violence at the hands of a husband or a partner, 60, 2% had been victims to psychological violence.
Resonance, the center for support and development of civic initiatives, 2015
3
It was an extreme case of Stockholm syndrome
At 17, I met the future father of my kids. I had never had any romantic relationships before. I just didn't know that it didn't have to be that way. It was evident from the very beginning that our household was going to be very patriarchal, but I was ready to comply with it for the sake of 'great love'.

I had to be on my best behavior – cook, clean, take care of the kids, not to bother him with talk, not to relax, not to go outside, not to contact my relatives without his permission, not to wear make-up. I had to obey completely, and I didn't have a right to hold a personal opinion. At first, there were bursts of anger, for which he sometimes apologized. Then, his emotional breakdowns got more and more frequent.

He started beating me, setting rules of behavior. For example, when he came in I was supposed to stand up and look down. If I raised my eyes, I was punished. He battered me in front of my two-year-old daughter and four-year-old son. At some point, I realized I had to leave at all costs because I wanted to protect my children's mental health. It was difficult to do because we were living under lock and key. Every time he left, he locked us up in the apartment with no keys.

However, one day he forgot the keys and it was our chance. I took the kids and escaped, but the hell didn't finish there. At the domestic violence crisis center they told me I had to be patient and work on our relationship, reasoning that I had no place to go and that my kids and I could be left out on the street. They tried to convince me that a man wouldn't beat a woman without cause.

I had a broken nose several times, brain concussions all the time. He forbade me to seek medical help. I didn't get any child support payments. He kept harassing us for eight years. We kept changing flats. We often had nothing to eat, even though I worked 14 hours a day. He caught me on the streets of the city and beat me in public. He threatened our daughter after her coming-out.

However, gradually, after many years, he started letting us go. Now we can feel safe. I can live an open life of an agender the way I've always wanted. I can see people I want to see, I can present myself as I wish. The most important thing is that I can protect my children from constant fear and aggression.
My kids decided to cut their father out of all family pictures, because we didn't need him anymore
10366 calls from people suffering from domestic violence were made to the helpline 0-800-99-800, and 933 SOS-cases were open
— The non-governmental organization Interaction, for the period from April 2009 to October 2017
4
Live without violence
80% women have never come to hospital.
75% people suffering from domestic violence have never called to police.
82% were afraid to tell about it them relatives.
Resonance, the center for support and development of civic initiatives
5
Destructive jealousy
Psychological abuse, humiliation, constant arguments and insults at some point turned into fights. At that moment his jealousy got worse and the reason for that was my trip to Italy.

He had been jealous before. He had read my messages and demanded my passwords, he had tried to control me. However, that time it went beyond all reason. He accused me of imaginary unfaithfulness. At the same time, he confessed he'd had sex with his ex-girlfriend when I'd been away.

I was afraid of him. His bossiness was turning into tyranny. Now I am happy that I found courage to leave and break the vicious circle of humiliations.
There are no government statistics on domestic violence
— AO Centrul media
6
You cannot change a man
On February 7, 2017 Vladimir Putin signed the law partially decriminalizing domestic abuse in Russia
— FSUE Russian Agency of International Information RIA Novosti
7
Beating your wife is not a sign of love
At the moment Transnistria remains almost the only unconditionally pro-Russian state in this region of Eastern Europe, it is the center of Russian culture… Actually, Transnistria is an outpost of Russian world
Vitaly Ignatyev, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Transnistria
8
It is necessary to go to the end
We started dating quickly. I didn't know this man very well. Only a month into our relationship, I got pregnant. I was very scared, but he wanted to be a father and so we had this baby. At first, he listened to me, my opinion mattered. However, as soon as the baby was born, he started humiliating me. The baby was growing, and so was my husband's tyranny. We often had fights, and after some time he started beating me. He used to beat me on the head with his fists, as a result, I had brain concussions. My face was all black, I had hematomas, and I couldn't open my eyes. He forbade me to go to the hospital, he was afraid people would know. Because of the hematomas, my eyesight got worse, but I wasn't allowed to seek medical attention. The morning after the beatings he always apologized, it was easy for him.

Once he battered me, and I had blood streaming down my face, my hair was a mess. He made me kneel down in front of the mirror and kept asking, 'Are you beautiful now? Are you beautiful now?'

I decided to run away at one point, took a plane to Moscow, found a job there. We got divorced, but he didn't let me take the baby. He holds a high position, he knows people everywhere, so according to court's decision, I am allowed to see my baby only once a week. He has been trying to deprive me of parental rights, but he hasn't been able to do that yet. He doesn't take proper care of the baby, but nobody can help me now, not even the President, Supreme Court or high officials. He has this town under his thumb – including the police, children's services and doctors. No matter how much I talk to them, they can't put themselves in my shoes. There is only one thing I want to say. Do not feel sorry for anybody, fight till the very end. If I had got my injuries verified after the beatings, I would have my baby with me now.
Harmonizing of Transnistria's and Russia's legislations is not a secret, and it means that in the future the decriminalization of domestic violence is more likely than the adoption of anti-violence law.
— Carolina Dutca, documentary photographer, author of the project The Places of Violence
9
It is better to leave before it is too late
The body of a 30-year-old woman from Bender was found by relatives at her apartment about 1 p.m. The conclusion of the experts was that the death of a woman came as a result of strangulation. Also on the body were found multiple bruises and a cut wound on the cheek. Previously convicted 35-year-old female partner was arrested by the authorities on the suspicion of having committed the murder. He cracked down on his victim during a joint feast on the basis of jealousy, according to preliminary data. The Bender district police office instituted criminal proceedings. From the scene of the incident, material evidence were confiscated.
from the report of the Ministry of of Internal Affairs on October 13, 2016
The public installation in memory of the victims of domestic violence in Bender (Transnistria region) - The Red Shoe.
The organizers are Center «Resonance» and civic society «Mercy»
Where can you get help in Transnistria?
1
Resonance, the center for support and development of civic initiatives
Bender
Helpline: 0 800 44000
Facebook
2
The non-governmental organization Interaction
Tiraspol, 1D Zelinski street
Helpline: 0 800 99 800
(Daily 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.)
Phone: + 373 533 89977
Site: http://ngointeraction.org/



3
NGO Women's initiatives
Tiraspol, 57 Manoylova street
(Monday – Friday 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.)
Phone: +373 533 52764
Site: http://www.womenin.org/
4
Informational and Legacy center Apriori
Tiraspol, str. 25 Octyabrya, 104
Phone.: +373 533 83058
(Monday — Friday, 9:00–18:00)
Site: https://apriori-center.org/en/

5
Informational and consulting centers in Grigoriopol District
Grigoriopol, Phone: +373 210 32191
Karmanovo, Phone: +373 210 71272
Tashlik, Phone: +373 210 72280
Malaesti, Phone: +373 210 67336
Spea, Phone: +373 210 64236
Butor, Phone: +373 210 73236
6
Informational and Legacy center Vialex
Ribnita, 5 Lenin street
Phone: +373 555 43740
Сайт: http://vialex.su/
Conact us
Carolina Dutca
E-mail: dutcacarolina@gmail.com
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