Violence Against Women Campaign Features Doctored Photos Of Hillary Clinton, AOC, Michelle Obama As Battered Victims
TOPSHOT - A woman walks past "Just because I am a Woman", a new series of works by Italian pop artist and activist aleXsandro Palombo, depicting some of the women protagonists of world politics as victims of gender violence : (Clockwise from Top L) Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, member of the US House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the wife of the French president Brigitte Macron, former US First Lady Michelle Obama, former US First Lady and former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and president of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi, on January 15, 2020 in downtown Milan. - The series aims at raising awareness and get response from the institutions and the politics about domestic violence against women worldwide. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

Italian artist AleXsandro Palombo has been raising awareness about violence against women by creating doctored photos of prominent political figures like Michelle Obama, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Hillary Clinton that make them appear as if they are battered victims.

“The ‘Just Because I am a Woman’ campaign created by AleXsandro Palombo, which is currently on display in Milan, also features altered portraits of German Chancellor  Angela Merkel and French first lady Brigitte Macron,” reports Fox News. “The posters note that such violence against women does not differ between races, classes or religions.”

Each poster features a message beneath it that reads, “I am a victim of domestic abuse. I am paid less. I’ve experienced genital mutilation. I do not have the right to dress as I want. I can’t decide who I’m going to marry. I was raped.”

Speaking with the BBC, Palombo said he created the posters “to illustrate the drama that affects millions of women throughout the world … with the aim of denouncing, raising awareness and obtaining a real response from institutions and politics.”

Palombo previously used the famous faces of Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie back in 2015 to highlight violence against women. “No woman is immune from domestic abuse,” the posters read.

Palombo gave no indication that the choice of certain female figures were meant as a political statement beyond raising awareness about violence against women. He also previously created campaigns such as Disabled Disney Princesses and The Simpsons Go To Auschwitz. Here is one such example:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience domestic violence each year. Below is an excerpt from the CDC’s report on “intimate partner violence” in the U.S.:

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is abuse or aggression that occurs in a close relationship. “Intimate partner” refers to both current and former spouses and dating partners. IPV can vary in how often it happens and how severe it is. It can range from one episode of violence that could have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over multiple years.

IPV is common.  It affects millions of people in the United States each year. Data from CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) indicate:

  • About 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported some form of IPV-related impact.
  • Over 43 million women and 38 million men experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

IPV is a significant public health issue that has many individual and societal costs. About 41% of female IPV survivors and 14% of male IPV survivors experience some form of physical injury related to IPV. IPV can also extend beyond physical injury and result in death. Data from U.S. crime reports suggest that 16% (about 1 in 6) of homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner. The reports also found that nearly half of female homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by a current or former male intimate partner.