domestic violence

A powerful new domestic violence PSA does an excellent job of showing how abuse has ranging effects far surpassing the victim and abuser. Frauenzentrale Zürich, a Swiss non profit that aims to empower women to live independently, released “Lea,” which depicts the daughter of an abused woman attempting to emulate her mom by putting on a makeup black eye. It’s a poignant reminder of how entire families and communities are affected by abuse.

I had a knot in my stomach from the moment that little girl put on her mom’s heels, and it was a completely relatable, striking image. I think most children idolize their parents when they’re young, and try to walk in their footsteps (I remember wearing my mom’s shoes and my dad’s ties so that I could be a “business lady”).

I think the use of makeup in domestic violence campaigns is especially interesting. It’s been a popular theme in ads like these, and effectively exposes the multiple ways that women have of hiding their abuse. I like that this ad turns that paradigm on its head and uses makeup to show abuse, and the use of the kid is effectively jarring.

The cycle of abuse is real. It’s not something that was made up for rhetorical purposes. In fact, about one-third of individuals who were abused or neglected will continue the pattern on their own children–that number is staggering. It’s not a secret that children who grow up in households with violence are more likely to seek that out in their own adults lives. We need to keep in mind that when we talk about domestic abuse, we aren’t just talking about one victim, and this PSA is an effective reminder.

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Photo: Youtube // [h/t Buzzfeed]