The Perception of Violence Against Women

As a psychologist in training, I admit not all of my Internet searches are psychology related, but I am always aware of the relationship between my procrastination time and my field of study. Combing through Buzzfeed to look at pictures of cute furry animals and funny quips about products from yester-year, I have been noticing a recent trend in current events. Women have been portrayed in the media as sexual tools utilized to sell products for some time. Recently I have noticed a trend that companies are exploiting violence against women to get their merchandise noticed. This blog entry is written in reference to a recent post that Buzzfeed took from the Huffpost (link seen below). To explain further, a particular sign company created a decal of a woman displayed “hog-tied” in the back of a pick-up truck. The purpose of this decal was to display how “realistic” their products are. Now to be honest, I had to take a double at the picture staring back at me on the screen because it was extremely realistic; which is probably a bit scarier. As described by the Huffpost writer, this isn’t the first company to display violence against women as a means of grabbing consumer’s attention; in fact, this has been a tactic for many years. According to the RAINN organization, 1 in every 6 women in the United States will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. Currently, 17.7 million women in the U.S. have been victims. With this realization in mind, it is important to note the impact of portraying women in this matter as a sales tactic.  

On another stint of procrastination (also on Buzzfeed), I found myself running across a list of awareness campaigns from across the world labeled The Most Brutal Domestic Violence Awareness Ads. Unfortunately, the most brutal ads are probably the most realistic display of what occurs in violent relationships against women. I have placed the link below for those of you who are curious about these advertisements. Countries involved in this campaign include the U.S, U.K, Serbia, Lebanon, France, Singapore, Germany and the United Arab Emeratis. Scrolling through the advertisements it is evident that the producing groups involved are passionate about awareness. Unfortunately, I have not seen these advertisements since. According to the Just World Hypothesis, as a society we believe that if we behave in a “good” way, then we will be protected from harm. Therefore, when individuals are faced with unpleasant views of relationships there is an automatic reaction of “there must be some sort of explanation.” Unfortunately, there typically isn’t one. Taking this into consideration I think it is important to look towards the future as a means to educate and instill this education in our culture.


Written by Emily L. Barnum

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