Photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz has continued to document the story of Maggie and her life since November 2012, when she was the victim of a violent attack by her now ex-boyfriend Shane.
I ended up spending my entire time at the fair with Shane, 31, and his girlfriend Maggie, 19.
Maggie’s two children, Kayden, four, and Memphis, nearly two, were not Shane’s, but from her then-estranged husband.
Shane and Maggie had started dating a month prior to meeting me, and Shane told me about his struggles with addiction and that he had spent much of his life in prison.
Southeastern Ohio was still warm that time of year and brimming with small regional festivals.
I had gone to the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival to shoot my first assignment for an editorial photography class.
Almost immediately, I spotted a man covered in tattoos, including an enormous piece on his neck that read, “Maggie Mae.” He was holding a beautiful little girl with blonde curls.His gentle manner with her belied his intimidating ink, and I approached them to ask if I could take their portrait.Usually, we only hear it muffled through walls or see it manifested in the faded yellow and purple bruises of a woman who “walked into a wall” or “fell down the stairs.” Despite a movement to increase awareness of domestic violence, we still treat it as a private crime, as if it is none of our business.During my time as a freelance photojournalist and as a Master’s candidate at Ohio University, one of the biggest challenges of my career came in November of 2012, while working on a project about the stigma associated with being an ex-convict.Suddenly, an incident of domestic violence unexpectedly became my business.I had met Shane and Maggie two-and-a-half months before.