Tunisian photographer, Karim Kamoun’s image of a naked woman, whose body shows clear signs of physical abuse has been removed from Facebook following complaints by users.
The image, intended to highlight the consequences of domestic violence was titled ironically by its subject, le seul fautif c’est elle (It is only her to blame) and was intended to encourage other women subject to domestic violence to speak out.
Although the picture has no sexual connotation, it was reported as offensive by internet users and removed by Facebook. Users were apparently shocked by the woman’s nudity instead of the bruises left upon her body following her husband’s alleged assault.
Commenting upon the image’s removal, Kamoun noted on his Facebook account, “Dear friends, the photo I shared last night featuring the assault upon a women was deleted by Facebook because several people reported it as erotic. The title of the photo is, le seul fautif c’est elle.
The subject is of a woman belonging to a higher social class who was assaulted by her husband several times and decided to break the silence.
“Those who reported it as such, (erotic) because they were shocked, should remove me from their Facebook accounts because I will continue this fight.”
Following the news of the images removal by Facebook, many internet users expressed their support of the artist and his attempt to raise awareness of domestic violence in Tunisia with hundreds of individuals expressing their support for Kamoun.
Radhia Jerbi, President of the National Union of Tunisian Women (UNFT), commenting upon the images removal, told Tunisia Live that the complaints were “quite telling of the prevailing masculine mentality that perceives the woman’s body as nude and sexually attractive whereas the photographer aims at raising Tunisians’ awareness.”
Jerbi continued, explaining that “the internet users’ reactions show a degrading attitude to women, regarding them as mere bodies and sexual vehicles, rather than human beings. These same individuals, mostly men, are not bothered by the signs of mistreatment and violence on her body and even on her sensitive organs.”
According to a 2010 report, (the most recent study available) 47.6 percent of Tunisian women reported falling victim to violent assault.