International Impact of the Weapon of Choice Project

The World Takes Notice

We live in a world where it is becoming ever easier to be cruel to one another. With so many social media networks, insults can be fired from one side of the world to another, in a fraction of a second. Sitting behind a keyboard, and not seeing the reaction to an insult first hand, it can be easy to believe that the words are harmless. Through the internet, it can seem that your actions have no consequences at all. But, words do hurt, whether they have been delivered face-to-face, or delivered online.

The Weapon of Choice Project, is the brainchild of professional photographer, Richard Johnson. After suffering abuse as a child, he felt it was time that the 'sticks and stones' attitude towards verbal insults, was left firmly in the past. With the help of professional make up artists and brave volunteers, he produced a series of images that showed hurtful insults, represented at physical injuries. These images were designed to demonstrate how harmful verbal abuse can be on the victims, causing significant emotional distress.

The hard-hitting images had an impact throughout the globe. Once the gallery was published, there was a big international response – media outlets from the likes of Australia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Hungary, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, amongst others, asked for permission to share the images. Furthermore, passionate individuals got in touch to see if they could use their images to help spread the message. For example, a photographer in Mexico wanted to reproduce the images in Spanish, and an English teacher in Thailand, asked to use the images, to open up a discussion in their school, about bullying. Also, website statistics indicated that there were visitors from over 140 countries and territories.

The international response was certainly unexpected, but it was certainly very positive indeed. This greatly helps to raise awareness throughout the world, of the damaging effect of verbal abuse and insults. The further the message spreads, and the more people realise the impact of theirs, hopefully the number of verbal abuse impact will decrease. Throughout the world, we should all be kinder to one another.