Free online photo archive illustrates violence against women without re-traumatizing the victims

© Ana Batrićević/Novinarke protiv nasilja – Journalists Against Violence/NPN

We’ve featured many free online archives so far, including those of newspaper photos, historic images, and sound effects. And now there’s another database we want to share with you. It’s small in size for now, but it’s of utmost importance!

A Serbian photojournalist group has started this database to illustrate violence against women and do it properly. It contains photos that can help journalists, writers, and bloggers tell a story without re-traumatizing the victims with graphic illustrations.

If you’ve ever had any trauma, you know that pretty random and seemingly minor stuff can trigger bad memories. For women who’ve been through any kind of abuse, photos of clenched fists and bruised faces can be this trigger. Sadly, they’re most commonly used to illustrate femicide and violence against women, and the point of this database is to empower the victims and change the narrative in the media.

© Nevena Marković/Novinarke protiv nasilja – Journalists Against Violence/NPN

The team behind the database is a group named Novinarke protiv nasilja (Journalists Against Violence/NPN). They started it with the idea of collecting images that can help report on violence against women in an ethical and responsible way. The point of the database is to help prevent the additional traumatization of victims, but also to encourage them and empower them for the future.

© Milena Anđela/Novinarke protiv nasilja – Journalists against Violence/NPN

As I mentioned, the database is completely free to use and it’s “intended for all media who wish to contribute to a better understanding and prevention of violence against women through responsible reporting”, as the team explains. All you need to respect is crediting the photographer or illustrator and NPN properly. Also, keep the images in their original form. Otherwise, you have to clearly note that they’ve been altered.

The Violence at Home Signal for Help, © Milena Djordjevic/Novinarke protiv nasilja – Journalists Against Violence/NPN

The database contains both photos and illustrations by different artists. Although a few of them have some text in Serbia, you can use the majority of the images as they’re text-free. I believe that the database will keep expanding with time, and I’ll make sure to get in touch with NPN and hear more about their plans. In the meantime, you can see the database here and download some photos if you need them. And if you’re a journalist, you’ll also find this useful: Guidelines for Media Reporting on Violence against Women.

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