|You can’t keep living like this, ma’am...|
Dinner at the La Louvière shelter for battered women. Christelle, Laetitia and Myriam are the first to take their seats and enjoy some time joking around.
Beyond these shared meals, these are the rooms where the residents spend most of their time. Life in the limited space of the shelter, constantly shared with people with different values and habits, is necessarily the subject of a series of rules. Cohabitation issues, which are surprisingly uncommon in view of the situation and the close living quarters, are collectively governed by a well-oiled system of meetings. In terms of everyday life, although boredom can at times be palpable, laughter is also frequently heard. But above all, the women are able to share their personal experiences and give each other advice; over time, a real sense of solidarity and dynamics develop. Mutual aid is the rule.
Unlike those supported by the association’s mobile team, the vast majority of residents are unemployed and come from the more modest social strata. Those who have jobs are typically able to keep them, although temporary absences from the workplace are common when they first arrive at the shelter, for reasons of security.
March 23, 2011 – La Louvière – Belgium.
© Pierre-Yves GINET
|Reference : 10-Belgique|
Photograph 9 of 48
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