#TheDress is now serving as a powerful domestic violence campaign

I know, I know, I KNOW, by now we are all 1000% aware of “The Dress.” Is it white and gold? Is it black and blue? Is it both? Is it neither? I feel these questions eating away at my soul at night and I rue the day I signed up for Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, because social media is the force that led me straight to #thedress, or, as I like to call it #myuntimelydemise.

As it turns out, #thedress isn’t just the most randomly popular thing that has ever happened to the internet. It might actually have the power to do some real good in the world Hear me out: as Mashable reports, the South African chapter of The Salvation Army took a look at this online phenomenon and saw major PSA potential in #thedress. So they created the following, to promote domestic abuse awareness:

If you can’t read the subtitle, it says “The only illusion is that it was her choice.” The ad is aptly in-your-face and appropriately chilling.

The SA chapter of The Salvation Army tweeted this image along with the stat that “1 in 6 women are victims” and uses the hashtag #StopAbuseAgainstWomen in an attempt to transform an Internet fad into a symbol of awareness.

The ad was produced by South African creative agency Ireland/Davenport. Creative director Wihan Meerhloz talked to ABC News about the charity campaign:

“We wanted to take advantage of the hype of the meme to spread awareness for something important. Our creative team brainstormed ways to send a greater message about overlooked abuse against women using the dress.”

He added that:

“We thought of the idea, produced it and offered it completely free to the Salvation Army in less than 24 hours. We hope it takes off on the Internet like the original dress did.”

If only all Internet trends could eventually be recycled in this manner, memes might actually be able to change the world, and not JUST change the world, but change it for the better.

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