This crime scene photograph reveals the realities of the domestic violence that kills one woman in Britain every three days.
The image is upsetting but the police want you to see it. It was taken by a colleague of Inspector Jack Rowland after he was called to a domestic assault in Isleworth, London.
The photograph shows a scene one woman was faced with everyday.
The staircase in her home had been riddled with 21 huge steel knives, littered with indecipherable post-it note messages and a warning replica bullet was even placed on the bottom step.
Inspector Rowlands explained, ‘A few weeks back a colleague of mine went to a domestic assault and found this when he entered. Male arrested and charged. Life saved.’
He defended his choice to share the disturbing image with the public, saying: ‘Lots of comments and shock about this picture. An image that raises the awareness of domestic violence and how much more is needed to be done.
Lots of comments & shock about this picture. An image that raises the awareness of #domesticviolence & how much more is needed to be done
— Insp Jack Rowlands (@earlyyearscop) March 22, 2017
The Met Police have since confirmed a 42-year-old man has been arrested. He has been charged with common assault and will appear before magistrates on Tuesday.
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid told Huffington Post UK:
What this chilling picture shows is the real threat to life that domestic abuse is. The knives represent that threat. They say, very clearly, ‘If you try to leave, I will hurt you.’ This is why many women are unable to leave – for fear for their life or their children’s lives.
Neate went onto explain how many women are at serious risk when they decide to leave an abusive partner.
According to The Femicide Census, 76% of women killed by their ex-partner or ex-spouse between 2009 and 2015 were killed within the first year that followed their separation.
This picture is a snapshot of the horrific reality of domestic abuse. We hope it raises awareness of the barriers facing survivors who want to flee.
If people ask ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ – show them this picture.
The old adage goes: A picture is worth a thousand words. It has rarely been more true than now.
Let’s just hope this image can turn words of dismay into action that helps prevent domestic violence.
If you feel trapped in a violent home or know someone who is suffering, call the National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Women’s Aid and Refuge, on 0808 2000 247.