We love our makeup and we spend money and time to look good, it makes us feel better about ourselves and gives us more confidence. I have to admit I do often look orange if I wear too much foundation, but I am the master at covering blemishes.
You wake with a heavy feeling in your head and heart and you drag your tired and aching body out of bed. He has left for work and you need to get the kids up ready for school, but there’s no way you can walk into the school playground looking this way, out comes the cosmetic bag and you begin to plaster the foundation onto your face.
The bruising is a mixture of black and purple and you winch as your fingers slide over the painful areas, he beat you last night and yet again you master the art of covering it up.
I lived this way for far too long, I covered up the physical and emotional scars well; it was a good game we played. He would beat me; I would lie and cover the evidence up. It becomes a vicious cycle that is difficult to break yet can save your life.
When I was approached and asked to back this campaign what could I say? No sorry I don’t have time? It’s not a worthy cause? For me personally covering it up led to 11 years of abuse, it subjected my children to a life of violence and it caused me to now lead a life filled with guilt and regret.
Domestic violence charity Refuge and make-up artist Lauren Luke are launching a powerful online campaign telling victims of domestic violence, and wider society, ‘Don’t cover it up’. The online film takes a brave and disarming approach to the issue of domestic violence, encouraging women to break down the silence which so often masks abuse and reach out for help from specialist organisations like Refuge. The campaign has been created by advertising agency BBH and will be hosted on Lauren Luke’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/panacea81 .
In the short, unsettling video, Lauren appears onscreen with severe cuts and bruises on her face. Her injuries are fake, but the viewer is led to believe that they have been inflicted on her by an abusive partner. She proceeds to deliver her make-up tutorial, calmly applying foundation to cover up her bruises and giving practical tips on how to minimise the effects of physical violence. The video ends with a shocking statistic – 65% of women who experience domestic violence keep it hidden – followed by the message ‘Don’t cover it up’ where viewers can access further support and information about domestic violence.
Lauren Luke has a huge online following of teenage girls and young women. Research shows that abuse in teenage relationships is alarmingly common, and Refuge believes that much more work needs to be done to reach this group and educate them about domestic violence. A survey undertaken by Refuge and YouGov in 2009 revealed that over half of young women aged 18-21 had experienced at least one abusive incident from a boyfriend, husband or partner. Despite this, only 41% said that they would know where to go for help if they experienced domestic violence.
Refuge hopes that this video will be shared far and wide among young women and girls, helping to raise awareness of abuse. Viewers are encouraged to share the video with friends, text to donate to Refuge, and sign a petition which Refuge has launched with Red magazine, calling for more life-saving domestic violence services across the country.