Leaving an abusive partner can be much more difficult than many people think — especially if the couple have children together.
To celebrate the true superhero strength it sometimes takes to exit such a situation, Lithuanian grassroots movement Women Speak (Moterys Kalba) asked five women, who are currently staying at Vilnius Crisis Centre after surviving domestic violence, to pose for Lithuanian photographer Neringa Rekasiute dressed as superheroes.
The campaign's press release states: "Women, who choose to leave their abusive partners, are strong and inspiring: They can become role models for other women, who still are suffering violence and abuse."
"The idea was born while we were presenting our previous project #ManyOfUs at a conference,"a spokesperson for Women Speak told A Plus. "While talking about it, we realized that we can't leave the topic of violence against women just yet. But this time, instead of talking about women as victims, we wanted to portray them as #Supersheroes. We wanted to empower women who were brave enough to exit violent relationships."
"That's how we ended up in Vilnius Crisis Centre, where women with their children stay after leaving abusive partners."
Scroll down to see the powerful stories of five #supersheroes who were brave enough to leave their toxic relationships.
"You should never accept humiliation or suffer violence. There is a different life out there — brighter, more beautiful, full of hope. We are stronger than men. I truly believe that in every cloud there is a silver lining and there's always a solution to every problem. " -Edita
"You will get your confidence back when you exit an abusive relationship. A lot of women come to a crisis centre having suffered physical abuse. But there is psychological abuse too. And sometimes it's even worse because it is harder to deal with the invisible consequences of it." -Elena
"The longer you live in an abusive environment, the harder it is to get out. But it is never too late to leave, even if you have 5 children." -Kristina
"There are women who spend their entire lives in violent relationships: they blame others, they whine, they victimise themselves. Take action! Sometimes you bounce highest when you hit rock bottom." -Zita
"The first time your partner is abusive, speak up and tell your family and friends. A woman is not an object, she does not have to rely on other people's opinions about her. She can say no to the abuse by refusing to be a victim." -Viktorija