THE INVISIBLE SCARS
Photo taken from The Inspiration Room
Last year, thousands of Lebanese women took the streets to pressure politicians in passing a law against domestic violence. Although the country is considered to be one of the most liberal in the region there are still no law protecting women against abuse, that is physical abuse, let alone verbal abuse.
Emotional abuse may not cause physical pain but its effects are often more lasting since this form of abuse is generally continuous. Verbal abuse which includes humiliation, blackmail, threats, and insults, is prevalent in the world but often dismissed with sentences like “don’t be too sensitive” or “they did not mean it”. Though it leaves the victim suffering from anxiety, insecurity, low self-esteem and may even result in long-term depression.
In an effort to combat verbal abuse, KAFA (Enough) a Lebanese non-profit organization teamed up with Y&R Mena, the advertising agency to launch the Words Hurt campaign. This included a series of print ads where verbal violence was presented physically. It highlighted the unseen wounds that verbal mistreatment has on the victim. The ads served to raise awareness to the general public and also provided the victims with a hotline to call for help.
KAFA launched another campaign in partnership with Lebanon’s General Directorate of the Internal Security Forces called “We have a mission” “If you’re threatened, do not hesitate to call 112”. The campaign aims to regain women’s trust in the police and encourage them to call them and report abuse. In the past few years domestic violence was often dismissed by the police and deemed as “family matters”, and this is precisely what KAFA is working to change.
On a high note KAFA and the women of Lebanon are continuing their efforts to pass the law against domestic violence with a demonstration took place April 1st, 2014. “Vote for us we will vote for you”, is the platform used by these women to threaten the government that they will boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections if the law is not passed . Women will be filling the Riad El Solh Square starting 10:30 am with their thumb imprinted in red ink a symbol of w0men’s ongoing wounds.