The story behind this tragic photo
Warning: Confronting content
DOMESTIC violence is too often shielded from public view.
We usually only find out what really happens behind these closed doors when it's too late - at a funeral or in a courtroom, as a man is charged with the murder of his partner.
American photographer Sara Lewkowicz wants this to change. She believes this "private crime" needs to become everybody's business.
Ms Lewkowicz made headlines in 2013 when her photo essay Photographer as Witness: A Portrait of Domestic Violence, a stunning and shocking documentation of a violent fight between an Ohio couple, Shane, 31, and his girlfriend Maggie, 19, was published in Time magazine. [News.com.au has published all the images below].
The photos were taken on a night in November 2012, when the couple and Maggie's two children, Kayden, 4, and Memphis, 2, from a previous relationship, were staying at a friend's house.
As they had many times before, Shane and Maggie began to fight. He had previously pulled her hair and grabbed her neck, but that night was different. He attacked Maggie, throwing her into chairs, pushing her up against a wall and choking her in front of her daughter.
"After I confirmed one of the housemates had called the police, I then continued to document the abuse - my instincts as a photojournalist began kicking in. If Maggie couldn't leave, neither could I," Ms Lewkowicz wrote in her essay.
As the police arrived and Shane was arrested, she kept taking photos. He later pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge and is currently in prison in Ohio.
"Women need to understand this can happen to them. I never thought it could happen to me, but it could," Maggie told Sara.
"Shane was like a fast car. When you're driving it, you think 'I might get pulled over and get a ticket.' You never think that you're going to crash."
Speaking to news.com.au, Ms Lewkowicz said Maggie is now in a new relationship and moved to Alaska to start a new life, before moving back to Ohio, where she lives now.
"We try to talk fairly regularly, but she has another baby now and she's going to college. She doesn't want to just be known as an abuse survivor," she said.
It's a positive end to an abusive relationship which we don't often hear about.
Despite this, the Time magazine article earned Ms Lewkowicz both praise and criticism. Some argued she started a brutally honest conversation about the reality of domestic violence. Others said she was capitalising on someone else's misery for her own artistic benefit.
The questions came thick and fast - "Why didn't you try to stop him? Why did you just stand there? How did you even end up in that house in the first place?"
Ms Lewkowicz first met the couple at a festival, where she had gone to shoot her first assignment for a photography class. She was struck by the contrast of Shane's tattoos against Memphis's beautiful blonde curls and thought it would create an interesting photograph.
They struck up a conversation and Shane revealed that he struggled with drug addiction for most of his life and had been in and out of prison. Ms Lewkowicz asked if she could document the couple and their lives, and they agreed.
"I intended to paint a portrait of the catch-22 of being a released ex-convict: even though they are physically free, the metaphorical prison of stigma doesn't allow them to truly escape. That story changed dramatically one night," Ms Lewkowicz wrote in Time.
She says she did intervene, by getting a friend to call the police, and says she would do the same thing over again.
"I'm not going to argue with people any more about my actions that night. I stand by them and frankly [Maggie] stood by them and she said I did the right thing. For sure, I would do the same thing again. I called the police and took the pictures," she said.
"A lot of people said 'How could you take the pictures?' But if you look at the pictures and feel upset, then you need to think about why you're more angry at the photos than the fact that this actually happened to someone.
"That shit was going to happen whether I was there or not. He's abused multiple women he's been with. This is habitual; this is not a one off. I prefer to have been there to be like 'This is what abuse looks like. It's really ugly and disturbing'. Figure out why you're so disturbed by it."
In Australia, at least one woman a week, on average, is killed by her partner. One in four Australian women will experience physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, and that same number will experience emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
They are shocking statistics that speak to how common misogyny is all over the world, Ms Lewkowicz says. Fixing our global domestic violence problem starts with fixing how men and women relate to each other.
"It starts with the small stuff. It's not just teaching girls how to avoid physical and sexual abuse, but teaching boys that you don't have a right to a woman's body, you don't have the right to force a woman to do anything. You're not entitled to her," she said.
"If you're fighting with your girlfriend, you're not allowed to block her from leaving the room. Our idea of masculinity is defined by how efficiently can [men] dominate your environment? It's defined by 'Do you have control over all the things in your life?' 'Don't show emotion unless it's anger'. All those behaviours are toxic for men and they're toxic for women. They're just not good for anybody.
"It's been pretty unbelievable to see how often that stuff goes down and how many people suffer."