Saudi Arabia launches first campaign to combat domestic violence
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'Some things can't be covered'

Saudi Arabia launches first campaign to combat domestic violence

Foundation says the phenomenon is more common than thought, calls on people to report abuse of women and children

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

A campaign against domestic violence in Saudi Arabia (photo credit: screen capture King Khalid Foundation)
A campaign against domestic violence in Saudi Arabia (photo credit: screen capture King Khalid Foundation)

Saudi Arabia launched its first-ever campaign to battle domestic violence, calling on people to come together to fight abuse of women.

In a kingdom known for its strict Muslim rules — considered oppressive by some rights groups — the campaign encouraging women to report domestic violence could be seen as groundbreaking, The Daily Mail reported Monday.

The campaign features a woman wearing a burka with a visible black eye, the only part of her not covered by the traditional garb. Under the photo is this statement: “Some things can’t be covered.”

Saudi Arabia’s restrictive laws include a ban on women driving and stipulate that women must be escorted by a guardian when walking in the street. Women are also forbidden to take part in most public activities and are required to wear very modest clothing.

The advert and campaign were initiated by the King Khalid Foundation, the report said. On the foundation’s website, a statement called on people to help protect women and children from abuse, something the site claims “is much greater than is apparent on the surface.”

Abuse of women and children “is a phenomenon found in the dark,” the foundation states. The campaign, it says, wishes to establish “a comprehensive system to deal with violence and abuse of the family in order to provide legal protection” for those who need it.

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