Don’t cover it up

Refuge teamed up with make-up artist Lauren Luke for this powerful video campaign.


In the short, unsettling video, make-up artist and popular blogger Lauren Luke appears onscreen with severe cuts and bruises on her face.

Her injuries are fake, but the viewer is led to believe that they were inflicted on her by an abusive partner.

Lauren proceeds to deliver her make-up tutorial, calmly applying foundation to cover up her bruises and giving practical tips on how to minimise the effects of physical violence.

Watch the video and an interview with Lauren Luke.


What was the purpose of the campaign?

Domestic violence is still, largely, a hidden crime.

Research shows that 65% of women who experience domestic violence keep it hidden.*

Victims of abuse often feel too ashamed or afraid to speak out. And all too often, society turns a blind eye.

Refuge wanted to expose this horrific crime and tell victims of domestic violence – and wider society – ‘Don’t cover it up’.

We wanted people to know that help is available – that Refuge is here.

* YouGov survey of 513 women aged 18-21 years old

Reaching a younger audience

Lauren Luke has a huge online following of teenage girls and young women.

Refuge wanted to create a powerful campaign that would speak to this group, since domestic violence is alarmingly common amongst teenagers.

Click here for more information about domestic violence and teenagers.

Viewers were encouraged to share the video with friends, text to donate to Refuge, and sign a petition which Refuge has launched with Red magazine, calling for more life-saving domestic violence services across the country.


The impact

The ‘Don’t cover it up’ campaign had a huge impact.

It was viewed by over 1 million people in the weeks following its launch in July 2012.

The campaign received extensive media coverage across the world, from Austria to Argentina, Iceland to Israel, Poland to Peru.

In the first 48 hours following the launch, the Refuge website received the same number of unique visitors as it usually receives in two weeks.


“A YouTube video the world should see” – The Telegraph

“Incredible powerful” – Mumsnet

“I just sat in silence not doing anything for a few minutes. Speechless. Really got me thinking. Such an amazing video” – YouTube comment 

All of this was achieved without spending a single penny – thanks to the pro bono support of Lauren Luke and advertising agency BBH.