TAMPA - "And they lived happily ever after..."
Not so according to Middle Eastern artist Saint Hoax .
He is turning the fairytale ending you seen in most Disney movies into a domestic violence awareness campaign featuring battered Disney princesses.
According to Hoax, the awareness campaign is called "Happily Never After" and targets any girl or woman who has been subject to domestic violence. The aim of the poster series is to encourage victims to report their cases in order for the authorities to prevent it from happening again, Hoax explained on his website.
The poster series shows Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Jasmine and Ariel with black eyes and blood coming from cuts on their faces. Each poster is accompanied by the caption, "When did he stop treating you like a princess? It's never too late to put an end to it."
The controversial poster series, which was rolled out last week online caught the attention of pop culture website Buzzfeed. An article on the site describes the illustrations as "shocking."
"I think the act of domestic violence itself is shocking," said Hoax in a phone interview with ABC Action News Tuesday. "If we want to tackle it in any way we have to shock the audience in order for us to pass the message across."
Hoax said he did not get Disney's approval to use their princesses. However, he feels they should understand his message that not all relationships have a fairytale ending.
"At the end of the day, this is something I did to influence people in a positive way," he explained.
Hoax will not reveal his identity nor his location in the world.
However, he did give a hint as to what was his inspiration.
"In the Middle East, whenever you open the news you watch a lot of cases of domestic violence that take place almost every day and that just upsets me so much," he added.
ABC Action News showed the campaign to several domestic violence organizations in the Bay area and around the state to get their opinion on the campaign.
"Anything that brings attention to domestic violence and gets people talking is a good thing," said Nicole Worthington with Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) .
Worthington explained that CASA would never run a campaign like Hoax's because it relies on shock value and they have other methods of educating the public about domestic violence.
"Our model is all about empowerment, so that is not really the empowerment model," Worthington added.
Worthington pointed out that the campaign comes off one-sided and may lead people to believe that domestic violence is only about physical harm and not mental harm. She said depicting just females as victims is also misleading, since domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic and racial lines.
Officials with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence based in Tallahassee reviewed the campaign and took issue with it.
Coalition leaders say they do not show violence in campaigns because it can perpetuate the issue. Additionally, they felt the captions could be construed as victim-blaming.
"Raising awareness and providing education about domestic violence, and empowering survivors with the knowledge that they are not alone and help is available is critical and at the foundation of all FCADV materials," Leisa Wiseman, spokesperson for FCADV, said in a statement.
She added that the coalition believes effective education materials must promote healthy behaviors and provide survivors with information about safety.
Hoax said after talking with experts in the domestic violence field, he has recognized that victims can be of any sex and background. He plans on launching a campaign targeting men who may be suffering from domestic violence.
ABC Action reached out to Disney for comment but did not immediately hear back.