March 4, 2021

The use of false victims raises the controversy of the campaign against sexist violence in Andalusia | Society

Video of the campaign / Image of a website of dental clinics in the United States and the campaign of the Board, with the same model.

The last campaign against gender violence of the Junta de Andalucía It has just been released amid a barrage of criticism. In the posters installed already in buses of line and in the video foreseen for the television appear smiling women. It is said that they are victims, but these are models taken from an image bank. They have suffered bad treatment, but life is always stronger, says the motto. Obviously the term "gender violence" -recognized in the Spanish integral law of 2004 and in the Istanbul Convention, approved by the Council of Europe and signed by Spain in 2014-. And it carries all the responsibility on women: Complaint. Lives. The central government has shown its "concern." The opposition, professionals in the fight against sexist violence and feminist groups demand the withdrawal of the initiative, in which the Board has invested 1.2 million euros of the State Pact against Gender Violence.

"The fight against gender violence does not admit weakness or lukewarm approaches," they say from the Ministry of Equality. "It demands strong messages that show that institutions and society face this serious problem in a coordinated and consensual way." From the department led by Vice President Carmen Calvo, now acting, they say: "Talking about abuse and focusing a campaign on victims reduces the effectiveness of this type of awareness raising and awareness." Calvo has transferred his "concern" to the president of the Junta de Andalucía: "Any fissure in the positioning of the institutions responsible for protecting the victims can generate distrust in the system," they point out in a letter sent by the Ministry.

One of the blackest joules has just been closed since there is data, with nine women and one child killed. There are 37 fatalities so far this year. And this same Monday a possible new case is investigated, known in Catalonia. They are already more than a thousand murdered by their partners or ex-partners. In 79% of the cases, the women had not reported or did not state that they had done so, according to these official data. The fear of the aggressor, not being believed and the effect on their children slow the victims, stop them, as pointed out by different specialists. That is why they recommend that campaigns be directed more towards the collaboration of families – who denounce in less than 2% of cases– and that the role of institutions with measures be reinforced as sanitary screening (that the attending doctors give the alarm) or allow the accreditation as victims of the women from the Social Services of the Town Halls, to facilitate their access to aid and social protection.

Capture of the campaign video that warns that the women in the ad are

Capture of the campaign video that warns that the women in the ad are "victims of abuse."

The Andalusian Ministry of Equality, Social Policies and Conciliation, directed by Rocío Ruiz (Citizens), has claimed on Monday the positive message of his campaign. "No one has ever attacked an initiative in this way that seeks to show that women can move forward, that there is a future after the ordeal of gender violence," Ruiz said in a statement. He accuses the PSOE of politically using sexist violence. And he adds that they are studying the adoption of legal measures by, he argues, "manipulating the announcements" of the Board's campaign.

An "advertising formula"

The television commercial starts with a black fade in which it reads: "Attention: the women you are going to see next have been victims of ill-treatment." But the photographs of smiling women correspond to a bank of images previously used in various advertisements, such as that of a dental clinic in Pennsylvania (USA). “This is an advertising formula that is normally used,” sources of the Ministry of Equality explain to this newspaper that allege that in the DGT ads doctors and traffic accident victims "are not real either."

The people in charge of the campaign, Conzeta Publicidad, maintain that with that initial message what is sought “is to surprise the viewer who expects attacked women to appear, but what is seen below are women in normal situations. It is a contradiction that surprises the viewer, ”they say. They add that, despite the fact that they are victims of abuse, "it would have been irresponsible to use real women who have suffered abuse because it would have jeopardized their safety." The company has worked with the previous Executive of the Board and with different firms, as well as for other institutions and large stores.

Board campaign posters.

Board campaign posters.

"Comfortable for the extreme right"

The choice of terminology has raised much of the criticism of the opposition for understanding that it is a clear concession to the extreme right. The spokeswoman for Equality of the Andalusian PSOE, Soledad Pérez, alleged Friday that the initiative of the Andalusian Government was “comfortable for the extreme right”, by suppressing any reference to machismo. United We were equally critical in another Tweet published this weekend: "This is the problem when a campaign against sexist violence makes her a hostage of the extreme right."

Equality rejects that the choice of the term abuse instead of gender or sexist violence, as the counselor herself has used in a promotional video of the campaign this Monday, does not imply any concession to Vox. The training has made policies on gender equality and violence one of its main axes of confrontation throughout this term in the community and achieved include in the agreements for the approval of the regional budgets the term “domestic violence” instead of gender violence.

“If the objective of the campaign was to bring current victims who have not denounced the experience of those who have done so, it has not been achieved. Because these women have gone through good times, but also through very bad times, and showing them happy idealizes the situation, ”explains Amparo Díaz Ramos, a lawyer specializing in gender violence. “Professionals, we spend a good deal of time adjusting expectations with our clients, precisely because of the effects of the campaigns. The complaint does not solve everything, ”he warns.

A "control" of the funds for smiling women and fans

Image of a fan of the Madrid Community campaign, shared by the 7N platform.

Image of a fan of the Madrid Community campaign, shared by the 7N platform.

The Andalusian Executive has invested 1.2 million euros of funds for the State Pact against Gender Violence in the campaign, which will run until November 25. The Ministry of Equality justifies that the Pact plans to develop prevention and awareness campaigns "with positive messages." But different specialists do not see it that way. "Victims who suffer abuse leave stronger, but when they talk about their experiences, they do not laugh, as in the posters," warns Antonia Ábalos, a member of the Association Women Survivors of Gender Violence. "Women who are experiencing a situation of sexist violence are not happy and happy," he says.

"The Covenant refers to showing examples of positive results, offering tools to victims, but showing them only smiling, without explaining their experiences, is of little use," says Amparo Díaz Ramos, a lawyer specializing in gender violence and It's about people.

The 7N-Madrid platform requires the Government "greater control" of the Covenant funds. And he says that "next to the nefarious posters" of the Board, in Madrid some fans are being distributed in which women are also asked to denounce. "All they do is stigmatize women and generate confusion about resources."

From the Ministry of Equality they indicate that the funds of the Pact are transferred to the autonomous communities "in charge and responsible for their application". Once the period of justification of the expenditure is over, from the Government Delegation for Gender Violence "it is verified that the funds conform to the measures established by the Covenant itself". The control and operation mechanism "is the same as that of any public subsidy".

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