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Nothing moves magazine copies like a good controversy, and Franca Sozzani is well aware of that.

As Vogue Italia‘s Editor-in-Chief for 20 years, she’s never been afraid to push the envelope within the pages of the glossy, publishing editorials that tackled heavy topics, like a 2008 issue featuring only black models, a 2010 editorial of the BP oil spill, and a 2011 issue that had plus-size models clad in lingerie on the cover. But the April 2014 issue will be her most controversial yet.

The cover story, shot by Steven Meisel, centers itself around domestic violence against women to send “a message against barbarism.” The photos, like the one you see above, come as stills from an accompanying short film called “Horror Story,” an eerie tale of a young woman attempting to escape a fatal reality others have already met before her at the hands of a male murderer.

The Independent addressed the provocative editorial with Sozzani, who asserted:

“It was not against men, it’s about the fact that women have to be defended. And a lot of people are already doing something, because I know that even some other people in fashion are really committed to defending women and raising awareness, to empower women.”

While some are applauding her efforts to call attention to an issue that affects millions of women worldwide, others are calling it tasteless and accusing her of attempting to dress up domestic violence in couture, because after all, it is a fashion magazine.

Watch the film and see more from the spread here, and let us know what you think in the comment section below.

PHOTO CREDIT: Vogue Italia