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Flowers for the picking

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

Documentary photographer Morgan Williams uses photography and first hand accounts to highlight the experiences women face in their daily lives.

Sexual assault and harassment is ever-present and frequently overlooked. Flowers for the Picking explores the experiences of seven anonymous people as described through their individual testimonies and in their own words. Although the photographs are uncomfortable, the aim is not to make you look away, rather to confront them. This project intends to expose the troubling impact, to amplify the conversation, and to promote change.

“It was my birthday and early in the morning around 8am.

I received a message on Instagram wishing me a happy birthday, but the sender was from a man who had taken advantage of me when I was too drunk to say no.

I didn’t know how I was supposed to react so I just stared at the message, then deleted it.

I ended up sitting on my bed for half an hour staring at the wall in front of me, it made me feel empty because it was something I didn’t want to have to think about again.”

“Okay memory as a small child probably 6-7 yrs old.

Summertime wearing shorts and t shirt.

Me and my sister looked up to this big girl called Mary.

She was active in the church and community alongside her mam and dad.

We used to want to hang out with her.

Somehow I was alone with her and we went visiting the old folk locally in their council bungalows.

I remember being greeted by this happy little old man.

He wore black trousers and a white shirt.

He was so happy to see us, he picked me up and plonked me on his knee. He jigged his

knee up and down and sang a song that I didn’t know.

Mary was opposite, standing and smiling.

My memory was of his hand being inside my top at the back but mainly at the front. He wasn’t holding me in one place but his hand was stroking up and down.

Mary was still smiling and laughing.

I was too young at the time to think I want off or this is wrong.

Probably as Mary was happy.”

“I was out clubbing last year.

Me and my friends went on a break to the smoking area.

Two guys came up to me and one of them joked around by kissing my hand as a hello, his friend acted like he was about to do the same, but instead licked the back of my hand and up my arm, then grinned at me.

I pulled away and walked quickly back to my friends.

No one saw or cared because it was so crowded.

I felt gross and just wanted to get on with my night.”

“Gunnersbury tube station, 11am, going to teach a class up in town. Wearing leggings, sports top, jacket, rucksack with small portable sound system, trainers. Hair tied back in high pony tail.

Entered carriage 1 male already on and opposite me. At next stop male gets on.

He sits directly beside me which now I think is odd as there were so many spare seats. I notice he’s sitting with his arms folded/crossed.

I’m day dreaming away and start to find the upholstery i’m sitting on is rather lumpy, perhaps it’s old fabric. I’m wearing lycra cotton leggings so it’s really uncomfortable.

But then I actually feel movement. Before logic can form any words or ideas in my head. Sort of survival kicks in... I leap off the seat into the next one and look at the guy (the perv) next to me. At the very same time the tube stops and the male staggers fast/lauches out the door!!! Still with his arms folded.

I realise then, they or one of his arms were fake so he had one hand/arm hidden to feel under me!!! I look across at the man opposite and he was oblivious to my sudden movement or what had just happened.

I felt dirty, shocked and couldn’t speak.

I had to get to work.

I must have been 24 years old.”

“Out on a lovely summers evening to a pub.

I’m probably about 20, and just wearing a T-shirt and jeans. I didn’t wear padded bras then, so just wore a crop top underneath.

I was with two great girl friends, and four guys we’ve known for years. The boys were really friendly, we’d met their other halves, we’d had dinner at their homes, we had partied together.

I was standing facing and talking to one of the guys, just chatting, feeling very comfortable. And in a split second, he decided to pinch my nipple.

I froze immediately, stopped talking, I was in shock, and went very quiet.

I left everyone and went home. The guy had a girlfriend he was engaged to, she wasn’t there.

It was the most unexpected behaviour.

I felt dirty.”

“Day time on the underground. Really busy and packed. On my way to work, so

wearing my uniform. But I was covered up, nothing on show.

Got on the escalator to exit underground, it was a really long steep one. Can’t remember which station. Everyone is stacked on each step and no one can run up the left side as it was so busy.

I was in my 20’s. Two guys no more than late 20’s standing side by side in front of me. Hadn’t spoke or acknowledged me. Both dropped their jeans at the same time. Two hairy arses in my face so actually they must have been a step much higher and with a gap.

No one commented, or reacted, I looked away. I was trapped and could do nothing. They pulled up their jeans just before the escalator reached the top.

This wasn’t a few seconds, it seemed to drag on...”

“I was at a party last year. Dressed in a strapless but long dress (knee length). I got with a guy but something was really off.

Firstly he insisted on going to the side of the house away from everyone. He kept asking if I wanted to go upstairs but I said no obviously, I only just met him and it was a house that I wasn’t familiar with. Then he pulled my dress down, as it was strapless it was easy to do but I didn’t want him to.

The side of the house was open and looked right out onto the street so I was very conscious and wanted him to stop. He didn’t and continued to pull it down, so much so that I had red scratch marks all on my chest, which stayed there until the next day.

I tried to get away but he pulled me back and then tried to lift my skirt up. I tried to get away again but he wouldn’t let me leave without getting my number. I gave it to him and he saved my name in his phone as **** works at sluts R us. I blocked him

the next day.

I ran into the house to find my friend who I went to the party with and we left straight away because I was crying. Not very nice and I told my mum everything the next day and have since been to a councilor about it and it has been put on record.

Fuck that was hard.

I feel like it was my fault for getting with him in the first place.”


Morgan Williams

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