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Living with the Enemy

1998 Public Awareness Campaign

"Living with the Enemy"

A photographic exhibition by Donna Ferrato 

Donna Ferrato's photographs of domestic violence graphically display the pain and horror that domestic violence inflicts on ,families. Ferrato's exhibit was the centerpiece of KDVA's October Public Awareness Campaign in October 1998. Philip Morris U.S.A., the corporate sponsor, funded the collection of 40 photographs to hang in the Kentucky State Capitol from October 1 - 14. This exhibit was unveiled by First Lady Judi Patton and Donna Ferrato at the October 1, 1998 press conference, at which Governor Paul Patton declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Kentucky. State Representative
Kathy Stein remarked, "Donna Ferrato's work has blazed a new trail for even seasoned professionals in the domestic violence field of how far we still have to go. She reenergizes those of us who thought we had plenty of energy."

Following the press conference, the Governor's Office of Child Abuse and Domestic VIolence Services and KDVA hosted a reception in the State Capitol. Donna Ferrato autographed copies of her book, Living with the Enemy, with proceeds to benefit Project Vision. KDVA also distributed "Peace in Kentucky Homes" t-shirts and buttons. Philip Morris U.S.A. also funded this reception. Later, Donna Ferrato and First Lady Judi Patton attended a book-signing at
Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington. That night, Donna Ferrato hosted the first of thirteen ,presentations of a slide show version of Living with the Enemy at Hazard Community College ,in Perry County. The slide presentation attracted about 600 people statewide, with stops in Hazard, Paducah, Hopkinsville, Danville, Ashland, Morehead, Lexington, Henderson, Owensboro, Prestonsburg and Wilmore.
The slide presentation had several different types of venues across Kentucky, such as a bookstore in Paducah, the County Courthouse in Danville, the YWCA in Lexington and hospitals in Henderson and Prestonsburg. The slide show was presented at three colleges and universities, including Hazard Community College, Breschia University (Owensboro), and Asbury College (Wilmore). Also, the photographs were incorporated into a training by health care professionals by St. Claire Medical Center in Morehead. The slides were also presented at Lexington's "Take Back the Night" on October 11, 1998.

In addition to the Ferrato exhibit, Governor Paul Patton and First Lady Judi Patton hosted a benefit at the Governor's Mansion
on October 8, 1998. Carol Jordon of the Governor's Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services recognized Rita
Culbertson of the Administrative Office of the Courts for her many long years of work with judicial training.

Domestic Abuse Awareness, Inc.

Seventeen years ago, while working on a story about a couple in love, the photojournalist Donna Ferrato saw a man hit his wife.
Until then she thought the greatest threat of danger to women came from strangers. Suddenly her eyes were opened to the
darker side of family life.

The experience changed her life as a photographer, starting her on what has evolved into a life-long mission to explore and
understand the abuse of women and children by the ones they love.

For ten years Ferrato researched domestic violence by while living with people in their homes, visiting battered women's shelters,
and maximum security prisons, and riding with the police for weeks at a time. In 1991, Aperture published her photographs in a
book entitled Living With the Enemy.

Shortly afterwards, a New York women's shelter approached her to explore the possibility of
creating a benefit exhibition of photographs from the book. The exhibition was an immense success, not only in raising badly needed funds for the shelter, but also in educating the public.

Before long, Donna was inundated with similar requests from shelters around the country. To cope with the demand and be true to her commitment to expose the horror of domestic violence, she formed a non-profit organization, Domestic Abuse Awareness, Inc. (DAA) with a mission to expose and eradicate violence against women and children through awareness, education, and action.

Today DAA is internationally recognized as the visual resource and communication center on domestic violence. DAA's photographs have been shown at over 1,000 schools and galleries, in television programs, billboards, newspapers and magazines throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. Over 50 schools, women's shelters, government groups and non-profits have exhibited DAA's photographs to raise local awareness.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence describes the photographs from the book Living With the Enemy as "vital for educating the public to the national crisis that is much the American way of life."

DAA is currently planning to expand its photographic archive to include works of other photographers and artists related to domestic violence and the alternatives to violence. DAA welcomes the participation of individuals who, through their creative endeavors, can help to spread the word that violence in the home is rampant and must be stopped!

Donna Ferrato

Donna Ferrato, a self-taught photographer, has been photographing professionally for more than seventeen years. For her documentation of domestic violence, she has received numerous awards, including the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Humanistic Photography and the Kodak Crystal Eagle for Courage in Journalism.

Her domestic violence documentation has appeared in publications including Life, Time, People Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times Magazine, MS. and in television reports on domestic violence, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS' America Tonight, Good Morning America, Dateline, Eye on America, NBC Now, The Crusaders, Court TV and Rolanda.

In 1991, Aperture published Ferrato's book on domestic violence "Living With the Enemy". Shortly afterwards, a New York battered women's shelter approached her to collect the photographs as an exhibition for a benefit event. Building on the success of this, Ferrato established the Domestic Abuse Awareness, Inc. to raise funds and to educate the public about domestic violence. The exhibitions have traveled to over 55 venues, nationally and internationally. They have enabled community groups to raise over $500,000 for battered women's shelters.

The Domestic Abuse Awareness, Inc. (DAA) is a non-profit grass roots organization, dedicated to eliminating violence in the home, through increased awareness and education. Ferrato lectures on domestic violence at universities, hospitals, and shelters.

As a photographer, Ferrato has traveled and worked throughout Europe, Africa and the Persian Gulf. Her photographs have been published extensively, in publications such as Life, Fortune, The New York Times Magazine, Stern, Das magazine and DU magazine.

Donna Ferrato is based in New York City and is the mother of a 15 year old daughter.