Behind every stitch and each piece of fabric on the dolls put on display in Washington D.C., there’s a real face and a real story.
Activist Marta Perez-Garcia is the creator of the display, and she hopes it will open the public’s eyes to the realities surrounding domestic violence.
“I think, because I have too many people around me and I really saw it for so long, I needed to do something about it,” Perez-Garcia says.
Perez-Garcia grew up in Puerto Rico and says she regularly witnessed women being abused. She says after moving to the mainland U.S., those stories didn’t stop.
"It's something that is in the media, that you see that is very close to home,” she says.
"One in 3 women are survivors of domestic violence and or sexual assault,” says Bakht Arif, who works with abuse survivors. “And that is a lot of people.
Arif works with abuse survivors for a non-profit project in Washington D.C. She believes the doll display is one way to grab people's attention but says the conversation should go far beyond this.
“Policy is important; legislation is important,” Arif says. “And we will be cheering and protesting for it and cheering for anyone who supports it and brings light to the issue.”
The exhibit at the Franklin Reeves building in Washington D.C. was on display throughout the month of October to promote awareness.
But Perez-Garcia says the real voices for change will come from voters in November.
"As society, we have to do something about this issue,” she says. “So, if it's to really take people in power to really make the right decisions against domestic violence, of course we have to do that.”