Domestic Violence and #TheDress

Domestic Violence and #TheDress

Domestic Violence and #TheDress

#TheDress took the world by storm. Who would have thought that one image would divide the world into two aggressive camps. Social media platforms went crazy about whether a picture depicted a perfectly nice bodycon dress as blue with black lace fringe or white with gold lace fringe.

Now to highlight domestic violence, the Salvation Army have launched a powerful campaign featuring #TheDress.

The advert reads “Why is it so hard to see black and blue? The only illusion is if think it was her choice.” It forms part of a Salvation Army campaign in South Africa and it features a women laying on her side in a white and gold dress, while covered in black and blue bruises.

The charity is hoping to continue use this media frenzy to highlight the pressing issue of violence against women.

A spokesperson for Salvation Army stated that “The Salvation Army sees the devastating effects of domestic violence on women, men and children every day.” The Salvation Army supports people who are affected by human trafficking through specialist services such as Lifehouses and Community Centres.

In the UK two women every week are killed by a partner or former partner and 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence; this innovative campaign in South Africa highlights how domestic violence is often overlooked certain societies and cultures.

Other charities are also stepping up to raise awareness for domestic abuse particularly with it being International Women’s Day on the 8th March.

A white and gold version of “The Dress” is being made and auctioned off for Comic Relief on eBay this weekend with the auction ending on Sunday.

On the 5th March, Women’s Aid have also launched an interactive billboard that uses facial recognition technology to help “fade” the bruises on an image of a women’s face. The more people that stop to look at the advert the faster her injuries heal. The idea is to demonstrate that we can all make tangible changes in the fight against domestic violence. This is the first advert of its kind in the UK.

The Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, Polly Neate states that “Domestic violence is experienced by hundreds of thousands of women every year, but many feel unable to tell anyone because they think that they won’t be believed or that people won’t understand. These women live in an invisible prison: controlled and harmed by the person who should love them most. ”

The theme this year for International Women’s Day is “Make it Happen” and that is what is taking place all over the world. Dr Helen Pankhurst – the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst - and her daughter Laura are going to lead a march this Sunday, on International Women’s day, in London and launch the annual CARE International’s Walk In Her Shoes campaign. The aim of Sunday’s walk is to act as a “rallying cry for people to walk in solidarity with women and girls across the developing world who bear the brunt of poverty, vulnerability and domestic servitude.” Problems that should not be acceptable in the 21st century.

Domestic violence is still a problem today that affects many people all over the world and it shouldn’t be. Please raise awareness of this in your own culture about this terrible practice that can be so easily stopped and prevented.


Nina is in her Honours year at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow studying History. She loves keeping fit and healthy at the gym and singing to her hearts content. Because of Nina's love of all things history related, she has a passion for reading, writing and researching. Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for an online magazine for female students at Strathclyde called Her Campus Strath and wants to continue her passion for writing after graduation. 


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