In Western countries, twenty-five percent of women and thirteen percent of men have been victims of sexual abuse by adults before they reach the age of seventeen.
Their abusers were family members, loved ones, clergy and often esteemed members of the community. Over the course of eight years, Lorena Ros built close relationships with the survivors in this book. They shared their private world, recalling the traumatic experiences that took place many years ago. In many cases, survivors invited her to photograph the actual places where the abuse occurred; at other times she photographed elements that triggered their memories such as an object or a place that related to their childhood trauma.
The circumstances of the abuse vary and the survivors are of different ages and come from many countries including Spain – Ros’ homeland. Child sex-abuse is a crime without borders. A child’s socio-economic status or cultural background offers no protection. Even though this abuse is so widespread, speaking about it remains a taboo in Western societies. There is a great deal of shame surrounding child sexual abuse and victims are silenced and often re-traumatized.
What bonded these survivors to each other was shame and a conviction instilled in them by the perpetrator that what happened to them should never be spoken of …
Lorena Ros is a photojournalist since 2001. She is based between Barcelona and Mumbai.