Happy Emails Have Cries for Help Hidden in the HTML in This Domestic Violence Campaign

Trouble beneath the surface

In Peru, four women in 10 between the ages of 15 and 49 years old suffer from domestic violence, and only 40 percent of those actively seek help. To remind people that violence can hide in plain sight, women's defense organization DEMUS and Lowe Yaku produced a series of apparently anodyne and cheerful emails, which it sent to a number of users.

When recipients moused over highlighted words like "Take care" or "I'm so happy," the real story appeared, hidden in the HTML.

The work is simple enough, with a quiet but poignant message: It's easy to take a seemingly cheerful missive at face value, then move on. But if you feel an itch of suspicion or concern for a friend or family member, it's worthwhile to dig deeper. Often it's hard to tell when silence is a cry for help.