Social Media and the Anti-Domestic Abuse Campaign

  • Until recently, domestic violence had been a silent issue in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, however, a new campaign that is making waves on social media websites shows several young Saudi Arabians holding placards with messages condeming violence against women.

    According to the National Family Safety Program (NFSP), 3 out of 10 women in Saudi Arabia are subjected to domestic violence.

    "There are presently no laws against domestic violence there and it ranked 130th out of 134 countries for gender parity in 2009."

    Most of the youth featured in the campaign are popular Saudi tweeps and YouTube hosts, who express their views on domestic violence in their own words, some of these include:

    "I'd kill myself if i ever thought of hitting you" and

    "Just because you are male doesn't necessarily mean you are a man."

    For the first time, a campaign involves the participation of Saudi men and women. The social media world has however made an achievement in the kingdom.

    The campaign comes at a time of ongoing improvement in the quest to fight against domestic abuse in Saudi Arabia.

    In April, an ad presented by the Khaled Foundation featured an anti-violence slogan reading "End Abuse in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

    It also contained a list of phone numbers on which cases of violence can be reported and a study calling for action to safeguard women and children in danger of the scourge.

    The ad created alot of attention on social media sites and other platforms because it showed a woman in a niqab with a bruised and blooded eye bearing the caption "Some things can't be covered."

    A local chapter from the White Ribbon Campaign, an international movement that encourages men to take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women, was also launched recently.

    With the sudden rise in awareness on the issue in the Kingdom and the determination to combat domestic violence, Saudi Arabia seems to be moving in the right direction.

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