Harrowing photos of a beaten and bruised Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, are being seen across Europe as part of a controversial campaign to end violence against women. The photo, which shows Kate Middleton’s face covered in cuts and bruises, can be spotted at bus stops and buildings all over Milan and around the southern Spanish coastal town of Los Alcazares.
Across the photo, bold, red and white capital letters spell out: “She reported him. But nobody believed her- she was left alone. But she was not protected- But he was not stopped. But she was killed anyway.”
According to The Sun, Kensington Palace was unaware that the doctored picture of the Duchess was going to be used for the campaign.
The Duchess of Cambridge is one of a number of strong, high-profile women pictured in the campaign. Others include US Vice President Kamala Harris, Queen Letizia of Spain and European Commissioner chief Ursula Von Der Leyen.
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The Italian artist, AleXsandro Palombo, told The Sun that the images were intended to shock, rather than suggest that the women were victims of domestic violence.
He explains how he wanted these in-your-face pictures to “draw attention to the poor responses from politicians regarding the problem of gender-based violence” and highlight the “ineffectiveness of the support and protection system to the victims”.
Social media users have been quick to respond, applauding Palombo for drawing attention to the issue of domestic violence.
“Bravo for showing it doesn’t matter your background. This remains an issue,” one writes.
“Thank you for making us confront the difficult reality, we need to be more responsive and determined as a society to save every single person from domestic violence,” comments another.
Others were more critical, commenting: “Seems like somebody lacks respect.”
Across the pond in America, there was condemnation for the misappropriation of respected women such as Kate Middleton and Kamala Harris for the purposes of the campaign:
“That is sick,” wrote one Twitter user. “You don’t have to doctor high-profile people to shine a light on domestic violence. It’s out there for all to see every day. Most of the time the bruising is where you can’t see it. Look into their eyes.”
Another wrote: “If I were either of these women, I’d be really upset.”
Kensington Place has not made a comment.