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Salvation Army advert triggers massive interest on social media

Friday, 6th March 2015  I  For immediate release

A Salvation Army advert that used “the dress” to highlight abuse against women today triggered massive interest – almost all of it positive – on social media.

The advert, which was carried by Cape Times today (Friday 6 March 2015), featured a model wearing the gold/white version of the dress that has triggered huge debate in recent days as to its colour. The model has clearly had several bruises painted on her body, indicating that she has been abused.
The caption reads: “Why is it so hard to see black and blue? The only illusion is if you think it’s her choice. One in six women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.”

The advert subsequently went viral on Twitter, becoming the subject of over 3000 tweets from all over the world within the space of an hour between approximately 1.30pm and 2.30pm today. It had the potential to reach 6 million viewers throughout the world, including the USA, the UK and Australia.

The vast majority of tweets were positive.

The advert was created by advertising agency Ireland Davenport.

Major Carin Holmes, PR Secretary for The Salvation Army, Southern Africa Territory, says: “We have been absolutely bowled over by the interest in this advert and the way in which it went viral. We are enormously encouraged that so many people on social media appear to be passionate about fighting the abuse of women. We are indebted to advertising agency, Ireland Davenport, for their creativity.”

She added: “If any of the social media followers would like to support our work in the field of women’s abuse, they are welcome to make a contribution via our SMS line by SMSing the word “abuse” to 42290. With your SMS, you will contribute R30 towards our efforts. Alternatively, contributions can be made via the website.

The Salvation Army’s work amongst abused women includes a shelter for women, Carehaven in Cape Town, which offers sanctuary and short term housing to up to 60 women who are victims of domestic abuse and their children. Although a strong Christian emphasis in maintained, women of all races and creeds are embraced, and no one is ever turned away due to lack of money.

In order to break the cycle of abuse, the Carehaven programme of support and empowerment focuses on the whole person to bring healing and help her to cope with future problems more effectively. To date, Carehaven has helped over 5 000 women and children. Carehaven provides safety, professional counselling, support groups/workshops, access to medical care and legal advice, HIV/Aids counselling and training, day care services for children, life skills and parenting training, development of practical subjects, spiritual encouragement and support, and love and care.

The Southern Africa Territory of The Salvation Army encompasses four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland – and the island of St Helena. Its officers, soldiers and full-time employees provide their spiritual and community services through approximately 230 corps (churches), societies and outposts, as well as through schools, hospitals, institutions for children, street children, the elderly, men and abused women, and daycare, goodwill, rehabilitation and social centres.


Media Contact: Ruth Coggin
Tel: 011-487-0026
Cell: 082-903-5819
Click here to e-mail Ruth
Client Contact: Major Carin Holmes
Public Relations Secretary
Tel: 011-718-6745
Cell: 082-994-4351
Click here to e-mail Carin