A Moroccan TV show is rightfully drawing ire after it aired a segment on how to use makeup to cover up injuries resulting from domestic violence. The daily program, Sabahiyat, brought on makeup artist Lilia Mouline to give women tips on how to hide traces of violence during its beauty segment last Wednesday, reports The Guardian.
The segment featured a model who was made up to have fake purple bruises around her eyes and swelling on her cheekbones. Mouline then offered tips on how to cover up the bruises using makeup, telling viewers, "We hope these beauty tips will help you carry on with your daily life." The reaction on social media was swift — viewers took to Facebook and Twitter to call out the TV station for its tone-deaf approach to domestic violence. "I think they missed the point.... they should be stopping domestic violence and working towards creating laws programs and facilities in place to end it... not teach its victims to hide it from people," one Facebook user commented. Following viewers' outrage, 2M, the channel on which Sabahiyat airs, issued an apology on its Facebook page. (It's in French, but a rough translation is below). "The management believes that this segment is completely inappropriate and has an editorial error in judgement, in light of the sensitivity and the gravity of the subject of violence against women," the statement reads. "The channel offers its sincerest apologies for this error in judgement, and is committed to taking the necessary steps in regards to the people responsible for this error and to strengthen the tools of control and supervision on this subject." Meanwhile, Mouline told news site Yabiladi that it was not her intention to normalize domestic violence. "We are here to try to provide solutions to these women who, for a period of two to three weeks, are putting their social life aside for the duration of their wounds," she said. "We are here to advise and to offer certain solutions in our own way, which may be artificial, but vital, to the women concerned." According to the World Health Organization, one in three women worldwide will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Morocco, in particular, has been criticized by the Human Rights Watch for its "tepid response to domestic violence." In February, the HRW sent a letter to the Moroccan government calling for laws that would better protect women against domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines domestic violence as any way in which an abuser exerts control or power over a survivor — whether that control manifests in physical outbursts or emotional abuse. Tricia Bent-Goodley, PhD, director of the Howard University Social Work School and author of The Ultimate Betrayal: A Renewed Look at Intimate Partner Violence, told Refinery29 in October that if you are in a situation that involves domestic violence, you should reach out to the NDVH for help as soon as you're able to. And if you're not ready to reach out or leave just yet, the NDVH also has ways to help you plan for your safety.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.