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"I'm at a loss for words right now, just so thankful for the many who have reached out"

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Defiant: Brooke Beaton
Defiant: Brooke Beaton

A mother-of-two enlisted the help of her photographer friend after she was the subject of alleged domestic abuse.

Brooke Beaton (27) called police last week to report she had been the victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her partner.

But before her injuries could fade, she sought the assistance of her friend Tiffany Thoelke, who is a freelance photographer.

They organised a photo shoot, and the resulting images have been published by media outlets around the world, sparking a debate about domestic abuse. 

“It opened a conversation that could go on forever,” Thoelke said. “Where it goes from here, I’m not sure. It’s only been a couple days, but it’s hitting powerful, powerful people that I’m hoping will use this as their platform.”

The images were posted on Thoelke's Facebook page, prompting a number of media outlets such as USA Today to carry the story. The reaction to the images, Ms Thoelke said, has been overwhelming. 

"I'm at a loss for words right now, just so thankful for the many who have reached out," Thoelke told the Sunday World. "Right now we are currently trying to come up with ways to raise funds to keep this going, for the thousands who have asked us to.

"And to bring more help to the many who don't feel they have any."

She describes how Beaton wanted the images shot the day immediately following the alleged assault. 

"During a conversation she said, ‘We need to do a shoot to raise awareness about domestic violence,’ I said, ‘Yeah we can any weekend’ (thinking the normal, makeup and such) swamped with editing and deadlines. She says to me, ‘No, like, as in now, I want it to be real.’

"Without hesitation, I agreed. I was taken back by her courage, in a time where so many women just don't have it."

The resulting images are powerful. They are close shots, taken to increase intensity between viewer and subject.

The raw injuries to Beaton's face are inescapable, and her defiant expression holds your gaze. 

Her boyfriend, who Beaton asked to remain anonymous, was arrested for domestic aggravated assault and interference with emergency communication when he tried to stop her from using her cellphone to call for help, USA Today reported. 

The images have sparked a social media campaign under the hashtag #SilenceHidesViolence.