Mary F. Calvert Wins World Press Photo First Prize, Long-Term Projects

From Mary F. Calvert's First Prize World Press project.

From Mary F. Calvert’s First Prize World Press project.

Mary F. Calvert has won First Prize in World Press Photo’s Long-Term Projects category for her work “Sexual Assault in America’s Military.” The Alexia Foundation is proud to have been able to help fund this vital work through our Women’s Initiative Grant.

Calvert’s project is the type of impactful work The Alexia Foundation was created to support

There is an epidemic of sexual assault in the U.S. Military. In 2014, an estimated 18,900 members of the Armed Forces were victims of “unwanted sexual conduct.” Only one out of ten cases go to trial and most victims are forced out of the military.

The effects of their assaults include depression, substance abuse, paranoia and feelings of isolation. The fear and shame can eat away at their lives for years. Many end up addicted to drugs and alcohol, homeless, or they take their own lives.

Calvert has been covering this tragedy for a number of years, giving voice to those who had been cast aside by the military and documenting the impact the assaults on the lives of these individuals. In 2014, she was awarded the Alexia Women’s Initiative Grant for the second stage in her project – examining homelessness among female veterans, the largest growing segment of the homeless population in the U.S.

Her work has brought all important attention to this issue, leading the charge to change the way the military addresses assault within its ranks. The photographs from this project have been published by the NYTimes, Mother Jones, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post and more. It has brought scrutiny and awareness to this issue, which has resulted in increased efforts by the military to address it.

Calvert’s project is the type of impactful work The Alexia Foundation was created to support. We extend congratulations to Mary for her World Press Photo Award, the latest in the many acknowledgments of the power of her photography.

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