Charity faces backlash over 'body bag for her' femicide campaign

“The people in these situations don't need to be told that they could end up in body bag. They wake up every day, wondering if that's going to happen,” said Marnie Hill, who was upset by the campaign.

Why It Matters

Facing a decline in donors and an increasingly crowded social media landscape, charities may increasingly turn to “edgy” campaigns to raise awareness, but doing so brings inherent risk.

A Toronto charity says they stand by a recent campaign that used a pink body bag to raise awareness about femicide, which some said was triggering and distasteful, while others argued was appropriate to spur action on a pressing issue. On Dec. 17, Toronto City Councillor Lily Cheng tweeted an image of herself holding the body bag in city council chambers alongside Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow and three Aura Freedom International (AFI) staff, the charity behind the campaign. In more than 50 comments on the post — viewed more than two million times before being deleted — X users — including survivors of gender-based violence and their family members — expressed outrage at the image, calling the body bag an upsetting and ill-conceived choice. "As the daughter of a domestic abuse survivor, I have to say this is disgusting [and] so far off the mark," said Marnie Hill on X in response to Cheng’s post.

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