Justice

One Man's Effort to Stop Legalized Domestic Abuse Is Going Viral

May 31st 2016

By:
Taylor Bell

Women across the globe are using the hashtag #TryBeatingMeLightly to protest a proposed bill in Pakistan that would allow husbands to "lightly beat" their wives.

Try Beating Me Lightly Map

The hashtag is part of social media campaign created by photographer Fahhad Rajper, who is trying to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Rajper posted the hashtag on Facebook and Twitter on Sunday together with a photo series of women expressing what they would do if a man "lightly beat" them. The original post has been shared more than 900 times.

Here are some of the women from his campaign:

Since then, other women have followed suit, posting tweets about how they would respond to getting physically abused.

"Through #TryBeatingMeLightly I want to promote the fact that domestic abuse is not right," Rajper told ATTN: via direct message on Twitter. "None deserves a beating or 'Light Beating.' This needs to stop. We all should unite to make it stop."

According to the Express Tribune, the bill was proposed by the Council of Islamic Ideology — a 20 member constitutional body that gives recommendations to parliament regarding Islamic laws. Specifically, the bill states that a man can "lightly beat" his wife if she "defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods."

It also proposes eliminating co-ed education after primary education, banning women from taking part in combat and welcoming foreign delegates among other things, the Express Tribune reported.

The CII proposed these suggestions as a way to return back to what they deem Islam-honoring legislation. In March, the same council condemned a bill that guaranteed protections for women who face domestic violence and sexual assault, declaring the bill "un-Islamic," the Independent reported.

Former member of the CII, Allama Tahir Ashrafi, criticized the proposed bill and said that the council was "subverting the very religion it claimed to uphold," according to NBC News.

"This is unbelievable," Ashrafi told NBC News. "So, what is 'light beating' and 'limited violence'? Not chopping off their heads but only, say, burning them in oil?"

He continued, "Violence is forbidden by Islam, period."

Others have also condemned the council's use of Islam as grounds for the bill.

Rajper told ATTN: that he plans to create more campaigns that empower women and he hopes the message behind #TryBeatingMeLightly will resonate.

"Significance of this campaign would be putting end to Domestic Abuse," Rajper told ATTN: "If this campaign is able to achieve or effect even 0.1 percent of population I'd be very happy about it."