Would you cover up bruises from an abuser?

July 27, 2012

When domestic violence hits the news, it's shocking, high-profile, and often tragic. We hear about the Huguely trial,  politicians and celebrities who allegedly beat their wives, or  the latest murder-suicide, but rarely, if ever, does the news pay attention to preventing the tragedies it covers.

But in an unusual move, HLN Evening Express on CNN chose to shine the light on make up artist Lauren Luke's recent PSA showing how women cover up the bruises instead of getting help. If you haven't seen the PSA yet, click here.

CNN offers a few suggestions, saying that they know the video is shocking but “that's not why we wanted you to see it; we want to move forward from that and give you some tools to reach out to your friend, your neighbor, your co-worker, who may be suffering in an abusive relationship.” They instruct viewers to believe victims, offer them assistance, and give them hotline numbers.

While we applaud the fact that a major network like CNN chose to pay attention and expand on this attention-grabbing PSA, we can't help but wonder why. Why the shift in  the usual gruesome after-the-fact domestic violence coverage? Why the proactive stance?

We can't help but wonder if the current political controversy over women's rights and violence against women, as well as the recent White House PSA “1 is 2 Many” may have anything to do with it. Or maybe, just maybe, the news is shifting to the perspective that one more news story about how to stop domestic and dating violence might just mean one fewer tragedy to report. What do you think?

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