Anti-Domestic Violence Ad "Lea" Shows How Abuse Affects Kids, Too

A new anti-domestic violence ad called "Lea" by Swiss non-profit Frauenzentrale Zürich manages to show in 42 seconds, without any depictions of actual violence, exactly how awful the phenomenon is. The ad depicts a young girl identified as Lea, who looks to be six or seven, playing alone in her parents' bedroom. As the text tells us, Lea wants to look like her mother, just like most little girls. She tries on her mother's heels and plays with her makeup. And it would be adorable — didn't we all cake on way too much lipstick at least once as little girls? — but in addition to the lipstick, Lea also draws for herself a black eye.

"Domestic violence rarely has only one victim," the ad says. Children who grow up in violent homes are more likely to face major problems such as depression or drug abuse later in life. One third of children who themselves are abused or neglected will do the same to their own children. Even if a child only witnesses abuse, their brains are affected in the same way that the brains of soldiers are affected by war. And, of course, girls who grow up in abusive homes are more likely to be abused by their own partners later in life. The cycle of violence inherent in the process is alarming, to say the least.

Yet all too often, the many tentacles of domestic violence are overlooked. Which is why it would be a good idea to change how we think about domestic violence — it isn't a problem that is confined to the four walls of the house. It affects all aspects of life for everyone involved: women, their children, those children's children, and on and on.

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