A censored image of a man raping his wife highlights harsh pandemic realities

Campaign from UN Women by MullenLowe Mediahub combines pixelated shots and hard-hitting copy to drive home its point

Published On
Nov 25, 2020

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A series of would-be horrific images anchor a new campaign for UN Women.

Created out of MullenLowe New York and Mediahub, the “UNSeen Stories” effort features posters of pixelated photographs, with copy suggesting the sinister stories behind them:

“This is a photo of a man raping his wife.”

“This is a photo of female genital mutilation.”

“This is a photo of a man beating his wife.”

Three posters of the UNseen campaign side by side

The ads go on to explain that the images are blurred out because it’s illegal to show such acts, “but in 41 countries, it’s not illegal to do it.” 

UN Women explains that real acts of violence were not actually shot for the campaign. The distorted pictures were crafted from nonviolent scenes to help drive home the point. The organization wants to highlight that as violence against women has increased during the pandemic, it’s expected that 15 million more women will be affected every three months that lockdown continues.



The campaign coincides with the annual international campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence,” which began on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It will run until Dec. 10, Human Rights Day.