Saudi Arabia launches anti-domestic violence campaign

Saudi Arabia's King Khalid Foundation has launched a major campaign against the abuse of women in an effort to raise awareness of domestic violence in the kingdom and to encourage victims to speak out.

The advertisements in the ‘No More Abuse’ campaign show a woman wearing a full veil or niqab, with a blackened left eye. The accompanying caption reads: “Some things can’t be covered.” The campaign is a collaboration between King Khalid Foundation, a prominent charity established in memory of the monarch who ruled Saudi Arabia between 1975 and 1982, and the Riyadh branch of advertising agency Memac Ogilvy. “Domestic abuse is a taboo subject. No one really knows the size of the problem,” said a statement by the campaign. “We want to shed light on this issue and… [to help] provide a platform for women in the Kingdom to report violence against them. “Islam guarantees the rights and dignity of women.” The advert comes at a time of significant change in the conservative kingdom. King Abdullah in February swore in the first women members of the Shura Council, an appointed body that advises the government on new laws. In April, the Saudi Justice Ministry licensed its first female lawyer. The King Khalid Foundation has prepared a list of social policies aimed at tackling domestic violence and providing support for victims, the statement said.