Domestic violence PSA goes viral

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A public service announcement created to raise awareness of domestic violence is getting a lot of attention. In it, a make-up artist shows how to cover up bruises and cuts.

Lauren Luke is famous for her YouTube makeup tutorials. But her latest clip, "How to look your best the morning after," is a plea for victims of domestic violence to speak up rather than cover up. The video shows a battered-looking Luke working makeup magic to conceal the signs of abuse.

In separate video, Luke explains the motivation and the message behind the PSA.

"If you apply a color that is just gently off-tone with your own skin tone, you can cover up any fresh bruising," she says, gently brushing foundation around a black eye. "It might hurt, just try your best."

The scene is part of Refuge's "Don't cover it up campaign" – a call for abused women to reach out for help.

It’s message is already resonating with victims of domestic violence here in Phoenix.

“I woke up to being held down by the hair and being stabbed in the face,” Alexis Health is a domestic violence survivor.  “I got stabbed above my eye here and my ear was like cut off.”

That was four years ago and now Health tells her story in hopes of helping others save themselves.

“I think the message is the first time someone is violent with you, it's a no because it will only get worse,” said Health.

And yet according to many domestic violence victim advocates, most women don't speak up.

“They are ashamed, they are afraid, they are afraid for their kids and they are afraid for their family so they hide they hide it,” said Patricia Klahr CEO of Chrysalis, a domestic abuse agency that works with victims, provides emergency shelter, victim advocates and offender treatment.

“With abuse you become so fearful you just retreat, you want to be able to keep your job, friends and family so you hide things,” explained Klahr.

Klahr said, initially she was shocked by the public service announcement, which has recently gone viral, and literally teaches a woman how to "cover up the violence."

“You can cover any fresh bruising,” says the woman in the PSA.  “Just apply lightly to start and layer as you go.”

Klahr says, “You really have to watch it all the way through because ultimately it tells you you don’t have to stay.”

Health can remember trying to conceal her own abusive relationship and this PSA brought back a wave of emotions.

“Even watching that video I got ugh... I got chills… I was like ahh,” said Health. “It takes me back to where I was, just covering it up masking it because you still have to live you still have responsibilities.”

The public service announcement ends abruptly when it becomes clear the offender is coming. The screen fades to black and tells viewers that 65 percent of abused women keep it hidden.

The plea is for women to speak up, not cover up.

“You are not alone,” said Klahr. “If it takes you covering up to get you through that day then you do that but you also need to maintain your safety.”

Klahr said Chrysalis can help victims get a plan in place to do just that.

“It's a private thing but just know you're not alone,” said Klahr.



Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence

“How to look your best the morning after” Refuge PSA