Stop Domestic Violence: India’s Incredibly Powerful “Abused Goddesses”

Buzzfeed Indian Goddess

I was reading an article published on BuzzFeedwhich presented a brand new campaign to end domestic violence, and was impressed with the thought and creativity that had gone into it.

Domestic Violence is an issue which has been in the public eye for quite some time now, yet it is still one which is ongoing and a real threat for many people within the UK. The Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) recently released data that suggests a number of around 1.2 million people experienced domestic violence in 2011/2012. Not only this but 800,000 of those victims were men, which is a far higher proportion of male sufferers than people might have initially thought.

The problem is not one confined to the UK, as domestic violence is an issue all over the world. Whilst it is difficult to encourage victims in India to report their abuse, statistics collected in 2006 by the National Crime Records Bureau revealed that a crime against a woman is committed every 3 minutes, a woman is raped every 29 minutes, a dowry death occurs every 77 minutes and one case of cruelty committed by either the husband or relative of the victim occurs every 9 minutes.

An Indian advertising agency called Taproot wanted to target these figures, which saw them recreate scenes from old hand-painted images of Indian goddesses. Make-up was used to add bruises and wounds to the models before photographing them, which is a move that is both highly controversial and hard-hitting.

For me, the campaign is a fantastic one. Yes, the images are shocking. Yes, the topic is a very controversial one. However that is exactly what is needed to get people to take notice of the issue. There are a number of people who have been in uproar, claiming the pictures to be disrespectful and inappropriate. I think it’s important to look at the context before passing such judgements. The images weren’t “vandalised”, as one person put it, for the purpose of causing offence or mocking these models. The images were altered to show the nature of domestic violence and by using women who are universally deemed to be “beautiful”, it is more likely to create an emotion when looking at them. Domestic violence is an extremely important issue that needs to be addressed all over the globe and I believe there needs to be more hard-hitting advertising campaign like this to gain access to a person’s conscience, which is the entity will cause them to act and/or take notice of what is being presented to them.

What do you think?

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