“More than 300 women have been shot, stabbed, strangled, beaten, bludgeoned or burned to death by men in South Carolina over the past decade, dying at a rate of one every 12 days while the state does little to stem the carnage from domestic abuse,” reads Till Death Do Us Part‘s description.
Till Death Do Us Part—a Post and Courier photo series that took place over eight months—won the Pulitzer Prize for its outstanding work this week. The photos and accompanying reportage shed light on the staggering number of women killed by men in South Carolina, a state which has the second highest number of domestic abuse cases in the nation. Ineffective laws there make it difficult for women to escape cycles of abuse: In fact, 380 women were turned away from shelters between 2012-2013 because there was not enough room for them. That’s because there are only 18 domestic abuse shelters in South Carolina, total. The odds are stacked against women, and this project takes a major step in doing something about that.
The series has seven parts. Each of the images is accompanied heavily by text, which helps the work to be educationally effective. Each of the sections also feature videos interviewing both victims of abuse and people trying to put an end to the danger women in this Bible Belt state face.
The experience is meant to be difficult and immersive: Only by peeling away the edifice and stories we tell the world about how women in America are safe and taken care of can we start to forge a path toward definitive change. We’ve included some of the photos below for browsing, but the best thing you can do is look at them straight on, in context, and share Till Death Do Us Part with everyone you know. It will change someone’s life. That we’re certain of — because it already has changed ours.