Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

That “blue & black” dress and domestic violence awareness campaigns

We have quite serious concerns about the use of this meme to "raise awareness" of domestic violence. Firstly, what are the outcomes of "raising awareness". The statistics of domestic violence are well known: 1 in 4 women in the UK experience it during their lifetime and 2 women are killed every week by current or former partners. We all know this. The  problem is not raising awareness - its making people actually care about the lives of those women, children and men living with domestic violence. We don't need more awareness - we need a commitment to ending domestic violence. We need increased investment in specialist support services, refuges and the NHS. We need a commitment to  specialist training for police officers, prosecutors, juries and judges. We need to ensure that men, and its almost always male perpetrators, are held criminally liable for their actions. We also need to ensure that the financial abuse of children does not continue post-separation by non-resident parents refusing to pay support.

Posters which do not reflect the reality of coercive control within domestic violence relationships or erase perpetrators don't raise awareness, they reflect an inaccurate assumption about domestic violence.


These articles deconstruct the quite serious issues with this particular campaign, including the fact that it was created by an advertising agency rather than an organisation which specialises in domestic violence:

The Salvation Army campaign: black erasure and white dominance by @Huma101 for Media Diversified

Is this the way to stop violence against women by Claire O.T

Salvation Army 'The Dress' advert: It's raised awareness, but of what exactly? by Natalie Collins

What’s Wrong With the Salvation Army’s Ad Using ‘The Dress’  via @thinkprogress

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