I have to be honest, when I went on this trip armed with an Australian journalist and an in-country translator I was expecting to come back with some incredible interview material to pair up with each and every image we had created.
However, what I hadn’t taken into account was just how reluctant these women would be to talking openly about the social issues they face in day to day life behind closed doors.
I’d seen the statistics, I’d read some of the reports, but yet few seemed to want to talk openly about the challenges faced by the women of Bougainville.
There seemed to be a lot of fear surrounding speaking with us about these matters, and if I’m honest, I guess this displayed my personal ignorance of both how common & extreme the gender based violence has become some parts of the globe outside of my little (and rather sheltered) pocket of the world.
Looking back on the experience of the trip and of the people we were fortunate enough to meet I realise that I’m actually more shocked by their fear of speaking up than many of the stories themselves.