Monday, May 25, 2009
Don’t Cover It Up
A while ago I came across this inspiring effort by the Dubai’s City of Hope Women’s Shelter. Their ‘It’s Time You Spoke’ anti-abuse campaign, gave out beauty kits with messages encouraging abuse victims to seek help. The kits are plain on the ouside and inside, covering twelve eye-shadow and two blush covers are sixteen “if” messages, i.e.; “If dragged across the floor”, “If punched in the face”, “If burnt with an iron.” On the brush applicator is the answer for what to do in those situations, “Don’t cover up injustice. Speak!
Victims of domestic abuse often try to cover their bruises, burns and scratches with make-up ‘It’s Time You Spoke’ campaign for the City of Hope, Dubai’s only women’s shelter, is an amazing initiative.
Domestic violence is one of the most under- exposed issues of modern living. It is also the most unbiased. It crosses every dividing line possible. Whether its cultural, religious, income level or geographical location.
It has also been around so long , many religions and cultures have adopted it as usual practise. Women are far from naughty children that need to be chastised or ‘fixed’ by their ‘significant others’.
The World Health Organisation study based on interviews with more than 24 000 women from rural and urban areas in 10 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, and the United Republic of Tanzania found that
domestic violence affects women's sexual and reproductive health and that it could contribute to increased risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Although pregnancy is often thought of as a time when women should be protected, More than 90% of these women had been abused by the father of the unborn child and between one quarter and one half of them had been kicked or punched in the abdomen.
Despite the health consequences, very few women reported seeking help from formal services like health and police, or from individuals in positions of authority, preferring instead to reach out to friends, neighbours and family members. Those who did seek formal support tended to be the most severely abused.
Our silence will not save us or them, not against domestic abuse… not ever!