The No More Project and US-based National Domestic Violence Hotline have joined forces on a campaign that responds to a frightening by-product of isolating at home during the coronavirus pandemic: victims of domestic violence are increasingly trapped with their abusers.
The "#Listeningfromhome" campaign, created by MRM McCann, aims to raise awareness of this problem and highlights that, like Covid-19, signs of abuse are not always visible. It educates people about the warning signs, encourages them to get help if they hear or observe incidents of domestic violence and asks for donations to support the helpline's response efforts.
Ads will launch on Friday across social media, with plans to run at outdoor sites when appropriate. They comprise solitary images of people with slogans that point out they have "been isolated and living in fear" for long before the pandemic began.
The work was written by Nicky Bullard and art directed by Jon Wells.
Reports from China have suggested that incidents of domestic abuse surged because of the pandemic, and domestic violence hotlines in the UK and US have said that they expect significant increases in calls amid this period of isolation. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has already heard from survivors that Covid-19 is being used by some abusers to further coerce their partners.
One in four women and one in nine men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pamela Zaballa, global executive director of No More, said: "We want people to take Covid-19 seriously and be vigilant in staying home and trying to stay healthy, but while they’re home, we hope to enlist them as allies in the effort to stop the epidemic of domestic violence – now, and beyond this immediate crisis. It is an effort to do the most good possible during an especially scary, uncertain time."
Katie Ray-Jones, chief executive of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, added: "Isolation is one of the strongest tactics an abuser can use, so building community around a survivor during Covid-19 is more important than ever before. For those who know and care about survivors or for those who observe abuse, you can be a part of their safety plan."