Ad campaign encourages us to be aware of warning signs of domestic violence
LONDON, ONT. -- A new ad campaign on social media wants to send out the message that everyone has a role to play when it comes to ending domestic violence.
The campaign by the Western University-based Centre for Research and Education on Domestic Violence Against Women and Children is called Neighbours, Friends and Family.
It includes a series of four short public service announcements that have been released on social media, which are designed to help people recognize warning signs of domestic abuse in others.
“A really small action of reaching out and breaking through isolation can help somebody who is experiencing domestic violence a lot,” said Order of Ontario recipient Barb MacQuarrie, who headed up the campaign. “And that this is absolutely the place that we all need to start. So we’re taking this out of the realm of being a problem that we can’t talk about.”
She added that we need to be able to talk openly and respectfully about the sensitive subject of abuse.
“It is not a place where we say ‘nothing to do with us.’ We know that all of us - our neighbours, our friends, our family, our co-workers, our community, our society as a whole - is impacted by domestic violence.”
The centre’s academic director, Peter Jaffe, said it’s also important to talk with suspected abusers.
“It may be their brother. It may be their father. It may be a colleague at work who’s concerned about them, who has seen certain behaviour at a workplace function, overheard conversations. I mean they have to be approached. They have to be encouraged to get help.”
According to the centre, abuse doesn’t always stay at home behind close doors. It can follow a victim to work or into other aspects of their lives.
According to the centre, a workplace survey of 8,000 Canadians found one in three people has experienced domestic violence in their lifetime.
“We are absolutely in the best position to reach out a supportive hand to say, ‘Hey I see what’s happening, and I’m worried about you,'” said MacQuarrie
The Neighbours, Friends, and Family campaign ads can be seen here.