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Domestic violence campaign inspired by #TheDress

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Last week, worldwide debate ensued about the color of a dress. Now the Salvation Army of South Africa has brought the dress back to your Facebook news feed and is taking the conversation in a different direction with its graphic new domestic violence campaign.

The ad does not tiptoe around what abuse can look like.

It features a model wearing a white and gold version of the infamous dress but covered in bruises that are indisputably black and blue.

A second image released today shows a woman using “white and gold” makeup to cover a black and blue bruise on her face.

The goal: spread awareness and appeal to women to report cases of abuse.

Reactions to the campaign are mostly positive.

“I mean if that’s what it takes to get domestic violence in the news, it’s more important than that dress,” said Devin Tyler.

“It’s doing what it’s meant to do, and i think it’s important that people start concentrating on issues that are a little more important than the color of a dress,” said Joanna Smith.

“I thought with the black and blue that somebody might make a play on the words and so it didn’t really surprise me but i work in the domestic violence field, so,” said Julia Kathary, executive director of Coburn Place, a transitional housing community for victims of domestic abuse.

She says the tie-in with social media helps make domestic violence easier to talk about.

“It brings it into our living rooms, into our offices, into those water-cooler conversations, and it validates it as a topic and an issue we all need to be paying attention to,” said Kathary.

The campaigns joins the celebrity-studded “Speechless” ads and the NFL’s Superbowl commercial in their efforts to bring the conversation to the mainstream,

Kathary says the next step is to volunteer at centers like Coburn place and speak out for victims of domestic violence that you might have in your own life.

“There’s lots of actions we can take BEYOND conversation, and I hope this starts that,” she said.

There are many resources available in the Indianapolis area if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence:

  • Coburn Center Safe Haven: 317-923-5750
  • The Julian Center 24-hour crisis line: 317-920-9320
  • Salvation Army Emergency Lodge: 317-637-5551
  • Adult Abuse Hotline: 1-800-992-6978