Anti Domestic Violence Poster Campaign by Terre des Femmes


Violence against women and girls remains the most frequent human rights violation worldwide (Bundeszentrale for Politische Bildung, 2014). According to a study by the FRA(European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014), at least one in three women worldwide fall victim to physical and/or sexual violence in the course of their lives. The WHOidentifies violence against women as one of the greatest health risks for women worldwide(as cited in Bundeszentrale for Politische Bildung, 2014).
The non -profit women's rights organization Terre des Femmes (French, translation: Women's Earth) has been working since 1981 for the protection of human rights of women(Terre des femmes, n.

d.). Their campaign "Violence against women is everyday life" from2017 consisted of TV spots and 5 different poster motifs which show different types of violence.

For this analysis, the poster on domestic violence was chosen because of physical violence by a trusted partner is the most common form of violence against women worldwide.
In addition, this motif stands out from the campaign.

Get quality help now
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Color

star star star star 4.7 (348)

“ Amazing as always, gave her a week to finish a big assignment and came through way ahead of time. ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

The reasons for this are worked out in the following analysis.

Theoretical Framework

First, however, an overview is given of the various aspects based on which visual media can be analysed and which appear meaningful for this concrete example.

Visual Markers Of Modality

The term "modality" comes from linguistics and refers to the truth value or credibility of "statements about the world" (Kress & Van Leeuwen, 2006, p.155). The concept of modality is also important for visual communication.
Kress and van Leeuwen (2006) state that there are eight modality markers to rank the perceived realistic of visual media.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

The markers "are scales that run from high to low modality, much like the scales from "certain" to "uncertain" with "probable" in-between"(Machin, 2007, p.48).
The first "scale" ranks the degree of articulation of detail and "runs from maximum detail to maximum abstraction" (Machin, 2007, p.48). It evaluates whether it would have looked the same if we had seen the situation ourselves. Degrees of articulation of the background also look at detail s, but the detailedness of the background. "Backgroundsmight be ranging from a blank space, via out-of-focus backgrounds, to maximally shaped" (Machin, 2007, p. 51). The marker articulation of depth assesses the depth of the 3 images and ranges from a deep perspective to the absence of perspective (Machin, 2007,p.52). The fourth marker " degrees of illumination - evaluate the closeness to reality based on the naturalness of light and shadow. An image without shadows or with unnatural lighting conditions has a low modality (Machin, 2007, p.53).
The next four markers thematize the colours of pictures. Articulation of tone thereby looks at "whether the colours in the image have a range of differences intones "or whether we find only simple polarities of dark and bright" (Machin, 2007, p.54). The degree of colour modulation is "a scale running from fully modulated colour, with, for example, the use of many different shades of red, to plain, unmodulated colour" (Krees and van Leeuwen,2006, p.160). So, the scale rates if the picture shows natural colour variations (Machin, 2007,p.54). " How full and rich colours appear" (Machin, 2007, p.54) is rated with degrees of colour saturation. It can variate from full -colour saturation to only using black and white(Krees & van Leeuwen, 2006, p.160). The last scale - colour differentiation - evaluates how many colours are available (Machin, 2007, p. 56).
2.1. Social actors and representations addition to the realistic, the type of representation of the persons in the picture is meaningful. For example, persons, animals, etc. can be represented individualised or collectivised. This choice "is important for the connection of the viewer to the interests and experiences of the participants" (Machin, 220, p.118).
Furthermore, it must be considered whether and according to which aspects the persons have been categorised. "These are resources for informing the observer which types of participants a re involved" (Machin, 2007, p.118 ) and relevant for whether the viewer can identify with these persons. In this context, a distinction is made between biological or cultural aspects. "Cultural categorisation is realised through standard attributes of hairstyle, adornment etc. "(Machin, 2007, p.120). The biological categorisation is achieved by highlighting stereotypical features (Machin, 2007, p.121).
Next, the actions of the persons in the picture are also significant. There are six different t processes to distinguish: material, behavioural, mental, verbal, relational and existential. Material is when the person is " doing something in the world that has a material result" (Machin, 2007, p.128) like building a house. Behavioural is the counterpart " an "act without material outcome". Mental includes processes like " thinking, evaluating, sensing"(Machin, 2007, p.128 ) and if the person in the picture speaks, it is a verbal process (Machin,2007, p.124). Relational processes are " where people are represented as being like, or different to, something else" (Machin, 2007, p.124). Existential processes are shown if"people are represented simply in a state of existing, appearing " (Machin, 2007, p.124).4Besides the question "How are participants represented", the non-representation of persons or objects also plays an effective role. This can be for example "a way to hide the responsibility for actions or to remove the role of some participants" (Machin, 2007, p.121).
And what"s more, the relationships between the groups - the persons presented and the interactive participants - are relevant for the analysis (Machin, 2007). Special importance is attached to the achieved interaction of the representation with the viewer. A direct gaze of the persons depicted into the eyes of the observer acts as a demand of information or services, while an indirect gaze acts as an offer of service or information (Machin, 2007,p.110). The size of the frame depicts social distance and ranges from close-up, via a medium to long-shot. It can suggest intimacy or remoteness (Machin, 2007). The perspective makes the attitude towards the person depicted clear. A distinction can be made between an objective and a subjective perspective (Machin, 2007). The angle of the shot also has an impact on the relationship to the observer (Machin, 2007). The horizontal variation from frontal to the side creates involvement and the vertical angle of high, eye-level or low has an influence on the balance of power. "If someone is shown at the same level equality is implied" (Machin, 2007, p.115).


At first sight, the poster shows a gorgeous woman without clothes, but part of her face is hidden through a "crack " in the poster. The background is almost monochrome. Apart from the woman, only the logo of a women's rights organisation and a slogan are printed on the poster. It is written there in German: Every fourth woman is a victim of violence. Imagine a country where millions of women are regularly beaten, abused and raped.

If one considers the slogan and the initiators of the posters, it becomes clear that the rupture of the poster is supposed to represent bruises on the woman's cheek. There two reasons for this type of visualization. First, it represent s a "light" version of showing injuries and could have been selected to not dramatize the subject. Further, this type of design may have been chosen to follow the journalistic-ethical principles of the German Press Code which also contains journalistic principles for reporting accidents and disasters (PressCouncil, 2017). Accordingly, reporting finds its limits in respect for the suffering of victims and the feelings of relatives. "Those affected by the disaster must not be allowed to become victims a second time through the depiction" (Presserat, 2017, p. 27). This principle for the protection of victims is also largely followed in campaigns by human rights organisations.53.1. Modality and colourLet us now move on to a more detailed analysis. As explained before, there are 8 modality markers to analyse the realities of visual communication media such as posters. In total, this picture has a medium modality.
The foreground is shown very detailed. It creates a very realistic and natural representation of the woman. In contrast to this, the background is blurred and monochrome.
It does not give the impression of a certain set of the situation. In the interaction with it, the picture also shows a low depth. It consists of two parts. The level of the woman, the slogan and the logo and the monochrome background. All the points addressed so far help to focus on the injured woman and the slogan.
The illumination has a high modulation. One does not see a source of light, but the light comes clearly from in front of the woman"s face and does look natural. The light is directly shining at her like a spotlight and enables us to recognize her face expression better.
She shows a brave, strong view of the viewers' eyes and a minimal smile.
The tone and the colour modulation are also high because all shades between very dark (almost black) brown and white are present. It's not in any part of the picture just a plain colour. This supports the realism. Colour Saturation, on the other hand, has a low modality- only shades of brown are shown.

Brown has often associated with warmth, earthy, natural, traditional, cosiness.
Presenters, however, are negative associations such as seclusion, dirt and sadness. In this context, Brown has a "dirty " effect (e.g. web design journal, n.d. , Immoos, 2010 ). The theme of violence against women and especially domestic violence is here the "dirty " theme that is brought into focus.

Social actors and representation besides the modality markers, the decisions for the representation of the woman and the resulting effects are significant.
If you look at the representation and the actions in the pictures the women are generally presented in the same way. They all take place in front of the same background and the women are posing (cf. image 1 till 5). That "s an existential process. The pictures depict the women in an individualised way and they are categorised by their sex, by biological attributes. Not visible - and therefore absent - is the person who caused the injuries. One can only see the consequence s of violence. Also absent are clothes. This shows the women as vulnerable but also strong because they don"t hid e their wounds.6Although at first sight, the pictures seem similar in terms of the representation and actions of the women, differences are noticeable when looking at the type of recording and the resulting relationship to the viewer.
Just like the other pictures, the poster offers us information about violence against women by the depiction of the woman, her injuries and the slogan and the picture is taken as a medium-shot. This difference of this motif is the oblique and slightly low angle which puts the woman in an elevated position, slightly looking down on the viewer. It is a subjective perspective because you can only see parts of her face and it puts the injuries in the focus to show that the relevant aspect is not the gorgeous woman. This motif is the only one showing the woman from this angle and with a minimal smile, so she looks militant. This angle presents the woman not as a victim, but as an affected person who courageously shows what happened to her in order to draw attention to the subject. This kind of presentation kes it clear that those affected should not be ashamed or keep silent. At the same time, the view slightly downwards, directly into the eyes of the observer, seems like a demand to stand up and to act side by side with her against violence against women.


Emotional and successful campaigns - like this one - are important to show that, despite the progress made, women are still at great risk of falling victim to violence. The issue must be on the public agenda.

The women in the foreground, directly in the centre of the light source and the lack of clothing with which affected women often conceal or Cacho injuries, sends a clear message that the subject should not be hushed up and that affected women do not have to be ashamed. At the same time, the absence of clothes makes them vulnerable and creates the feeling of wanting to protect them.

The choice of the monochrome background reinforces the statement that every woman could everywhere become a victim of violence. This is also supported through the diversity of the chosen models.

In my opinion, the artistic depiction of the injuries as cracks in the poster is a successful way of depicting them without tearing open possible traumas. At the same time, however, it should be noted that this way of representation can also be perceived as "flaws " or"imperfection ". This impression should certainly not be achieved by the campaign, but it is important to keep this in mind when dealing with such a sensitive topic.
Overall the picture of domestic violence fulfils the purpose of the campaign most satisfactorily. The slogan already refers directly to Germany and the widespread attitude "that7only happens to others " or "elsewhere ". Further, the angle of reception and the facial expression makes her appear strong and proud. She looks down on the viewer, seems determined to change the present situation and to bring the subject out of the "taboo " zone.
At the same time, the slightly low angle creates a relationship with the viewer which, in contrast to the other motifs, goes beyond offering information. It is a demand to act against violence against women.

Reference List

  • Bundeszentrale for politische Bildung (2014). Gewalt gegen Frauen. Available at-aktuell/196723/gewalt -gegen -frauen -25 -11 -2014Immoos, F. (2010). Farben. Wahrnehmung Assoziation Psychoenergetik. Retrieved from-ostwald -content/uploads/2010/04/bedeutung-der -farben.pdf
  • Kress, G., & Van Leeuwen, T. (2006). Reading images: Th e grammar of visual design , 2 ndedition. London: Routledge, chapters 4 & 5, pp. 114 -175.
  • Machin, D. (2007). Introduction to multimodal analysis : London: Bloomsbury.
  • Webdesign journal (n.D.) Psychologische Wirkung von Farben und Farbkombinationen[Online]. Retrieved from -wirkung-von -farben -farbkombinationen/
  • Presserat (2017). Publizistische Grundsotze (Pressekodex). Richtlinien for die publizistischeArbeit nach den Empfehlungen des Deutschen Presserates. Beschwerdeordnung .
Updated: Feb 23, 2021
Cite this page

Anti Domestic Violence Poster Campaign by Terre des Femmes. (2019, Nov 20). Retrieved from

Anti Domestic Violence Poster Campaign by Terre des Femmes essay
Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment