Crying Meri by Vlad SokhinHellen Alphons, by Vlad Sokhin

Hellen Alphons only has one leg. She lost the other one when her husband cut it off with a bushknife in front of their children. Hellen is just one of many women in Papua New Guinea that has been been a victim of violence—in fact, 68 percent of women there have experience physical or sexual violence and in some areas, that number is as high as 98 percent. Vlad Sokhin, a Russian photojournalist, has been working to ensure the everyday violence doesn’t stay hidden.

Crying Meri by Vlad SokhinAndres Sime (39), is waiting for trial in a prison cell, having been accused of multiple rapes. The Boroko police station, Port Moresby. Image by Vlad Sohkin.

Sohkin has been working on a photo series, Crying Meri, for two years. The images were quickly picked up by the United Nations and Amnesty International and the resulting outcry sparked the first law prohibiting domestic violence in Papua New Guinea. Sokin is currently working with FotoEvidence to compile the images into a photobook.

Crying Meri by Vlad SokhinA woman looks down the valley from Kassam pass, Morobe province. The beautiful landscape of PNG’s highlands belies the brutal reality of life in the region, where more than 90 percent of women report suffering gender-based violence. Image by Vlad Sokhin.

“Vlad Sokhin captures life with a human rights lens. He gets to the heart of the story by treating his subjects with great respect and dignity,” said Christina Saunders, Human Rights Adviser to the United Nations in Papua New Guinea from 2009-2013.

To support the release of the Crying Meri, visit Sokhin’s Kickstarter page through March 9.