Every time you think something worse can’t possibly happen, the bottom drops a little lower and the world is a little more hellish than before. In some seriously shocking news, a Moroccan channel had to apologise recently for airing a program which was a make-up tutorial for women on how to hide their bruises if they are subject to domestic violence. Yes, you absolutely read that right.
Let’s address the glaring elephant in the room which whoever authorised this program clearly missed. Rather than addressing the problem of domestic violence, this show clearly takes the route of ‘this happens, and look how many ways you can hide it!’ It puts women’s external appearance over their overall health and well-being. It squarely tells them the fact they were beaten doesn’t matter (or even who beat them), but the fact that nobody must see that they were beaten.
This is exactly the opposite of domestic abuse survivors need to be told. They need to be urged to have their voices heard, to be reminded that domestic abuse does not mean they have anything to hide, that they are not at fault. Too many times domestic abuse survivors try to rationalise what they’ve experienced – “I should have been more patient.”, “If I stay with them, they’ll change for the better”, “They didn’t mean to hurt me.” Domestic abuse survivors themselves often attempt to hide their injuries with make-up and concealer to prevent concerned friends or family members from asking questions, and what is worse is that for many of them, this is a legitimate solution. There are simply not enough helplines or solution for domestic violence and thus things like this have become normalized. And that is not okay.
It is to be noted that not only did this video air two days before International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women, Morocco also happens to be a country without any kind of law against domestic violence. At a time when we should be talking about the fact that 1 in 4 women are likely to face domestic violence in their lifetimes (and 1 in 6 men), a video like this systematically trivializes the situation of domestic abuse survivors (and many of those who are continuing to suffer in abusive relationships.)
While the channel subsequently apologised and withdrew the video after numerous complaints, it is still a matter of concern why this was aired at all to begin with and how issues like domestic violence and marital rape are still not taken seriously in large parts of the world, including India.
UPDATE: The Moroccan TV station has apologised for airing the video and has taken it down.