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‘Her Black Eye is Our Black Eye’

Register-Herald photo by Brad Davis Domestic violence survivor Kelly Elkins receives a black eye from makeup artist and Bradley Elementary teacher Andrea Plumley Sullivan before an emotional interview on camera about what it felt like to have to go out into the workplace and public with the visible bruises of being abused during a social experiment called "Her Black Eye is Your Black Eye" Wednesday evening at the Raleigh Theatre and Playhouse. The Women's Resource Center had a makeup artist put black eyes on five different individuals, then had them look at themselves in a mirror before being interviewed on camera about their experiences with domestic violence, drawing emotional responses from those who took part.
Register-Herald photo by Brad Davis
Domestic violence survivor Kelly Elkins receives a black eye from makeup artist and Bradley Elementary teacher Andrea Plumley Sullivan before an emotional interview on camera about what it felt like to have to go out into the workplace and public with the visible bruises of being abused during a social experiment called “Her Black Eye is Your Black Eye” Wednesday evening at the Raleigh Theatre and Playhouse. The Women’s Resource Center had a makeup artist put black eyes on five different individuals, then had them look at themselves in a mirror before being interviewed on camera about their experiences with domestic violence, drawing emotional responses from those who took part.

BECKLEY, W.Va. — A social media project designed to bring awareness to domestic violence took the stage at the Raleigh Theater Wednesday evening, as five people got “black eyes” for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Makeup artist Andrea Plumley Sullivan applied the “bruise,” and then each person looked at themselves in the mirror.

The effect of seeing themselves with a black eye, even though it was makeup, was startling.

For Kelly Elkins, who is a domestic violence survivor, it was more.

She was able to cover the abuse dealt to her by her ex-husband.

“To see something that’s visible, it takes the breath out of you,” she said. “It kind of opens up wounds that I thought had been gone, that I had put away for a long time.”

For her husband, Rodney, it was different. When he saw himself with a black eye, he said he understood better what his wife had gone through.

“I don’t know how she could be so strong, but I want to do everything I can to help,” he said.

Elkins said, he also understands whose responsibility it is to stop domestic violence.

And that responsibility falls to men, he said. It starts with how men address the issue and how they address women, he said.

“There’s nothing funny about domestic violence…

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