“Saudi Arabia has long been known as one of the worst places in the world to be a woman: Under the kingdom’s legal system, women are treated as minors and are forbidden from traveling or working without the permission of their male guardians. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Global Gender Gap Report, Saudi Arabia ranks 131st out of 135 countries when it comes to opportunities for women.
And yet, there have been small signs of change. Two Saudi women competed in the Olympics for the first time last year, and King Abdullah broke new ground by appointing 30 women to the consultative Shura Council this January. Now the kingdom has its first anti-domestic violence campaign: The ad above is from the “No More Abuse” campaign, which seeks to promote awareness of domestic violence and encourage citizens to speak out when they hear of it. The website promoting the ad features a list of phone numbers for Saudis to call in order to address cases of domestic violence.”
This is fantastic. A mentor of mine once told me: Celebrate the victories as they come, as small as they may seem.
Violence is not always visible.
Last week Turkish celebrities piled on make-up to to pose as women who had been physically abused for a public awareness campaign.
But Turkish journalist Sule Yilmaz said she’s not sure it was a good idea; instead, she found a very different campaign looking to address the same issue more powerful:
“‘Violence is not always visible,’ it said, with a picture of a half-smiling woman with no signs of violence in her face. ‘She has 3 broken ribs, 2 loose teeth, 5 cigarette burns on her leg… You can’t always tell,’ said the words below her picture.
Designed by Danish designer Trine Sejthen, the ad won the first prize in the UN European Ad Competition, No to Violence Against Women, organized by the Brussels-based United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC). You know what? It moved me more than the Turkish celebrities with bruised faces, in particular Avşar.”
“Domestic violence is a growing concern in Turkey, where women are killed by their male partners, relatives, husbands or ex-husbands, and this week’s guest for Monday Talk looks at the reasons behind this.”
“Domestic violence is often shielded from public view. Usually, we only hear it muffled through walls or see it manifested in the faded yellow and purple bruises of a woman who ‘walked into a wall’ or ‘fell down the stairs.’ Despite a movement to increase awareness of domestic violence, we still treat it as a private crime, as if it is none of our business.
During my time as a freelance photojournalist and as a Master’s candidate at Ohio University, one of the biggest challenges of my career came in November of 2012, while working on a project about the stigma associated with being an ex-convict. Suddenly, an incident of domestic violence unexpectedly became my business.”
What do you think? Should she have intervened? Or did she have a greater duty to share the story?
Maggie, the woman assaulted, did give the green light: ‘Women need to understand this can happen to them. I never thought it could happen to me, but it could.’
The problem is bigger than the Rihanna and Chris Brown Grammys cuddlefest. It’s the message the entertainment industry continues to send.
Excellent piece by @shethepeople colleague Michelle Bernard.
You’ve probably heard the name Sarai Sierra. But what about Aynzeliha, Damla, Fatma and Irem?
“If the situation is that bad, she’ll leave.”
I get this sort of response from people about women that stick it out in abusive relationships. Or women who return.
I also here negative comments like “how stupid can she be?” and “why doesn’t she just divorce him?”
Sounds easy, right? Check out my domestic violence mythbuster for the truth.