When means subvert an end

How desensitized have we become to images of violence against women?

by Tara Kline

As an undergraduate student, I am constantly on the lookout for ways to educate the campus community about relationship violence and sexual assault. When I was informed about a new Danish public service announcement by a group which calls itself Children Exposed to Violence at Home, I decided to take a look. âÄúHit the B- – -hâÄù is a virtual game that allows the player to use a large hand to hit and punch a woman while the game gives you ratings for the amount of injury you inflict. The scale begins at 100 percent âÄú[expletive]âÄù and continues to 100 percent âÄúgangsta.âÄù All the while, the woman is growing increasingly bloody and crying for you to stop. Once the woman has been hit enough by the virtual abuser, she falls and the screen changes the rating from 100 percent âÄúgangstaâÄù to 100 percent âÄúidiot.âÄù Then the company, to the sound of soft, sad music, shows a message on the screen about the prevention of domestic violence. This ad in itself is idiotic. It attempts to teach people after letting them hit a woman. In the quest to bring relationship violence to the social forefront, the site has completely lost sight of its goal. Some people may find this approach helpful, attention grabbing or even thought provoking, but this site has made a mockery of victims of this crime. It allows people to virtually become abusive toward women, like Grand Theft Auto does, in which players earn points as they pick up prostitutes, have sex with them, steal back the money and then kill them. How desensitized have we become to violence against women? Relationship violence is not always about physical abuse; this site dismisses many other elements of abuse such as emotional abuse, stalking and sexual violence. In order for us to combat this issue, we must educate ourselves and our community and stand in bold solidarity in opposition to images of violence against women and the interactivity of such hatred. Tara Kline University undergraduate student