Domestic violence service provider Shine and Chillbox Creative have come together to launch a campaign encouraging people to look out for signs of domestic abuse within their friends, colleagues, and family members.
Shine’s campaign, titled ‘It isn’t always obvious’ spotlights cases where abusers control their partner’s movements, finances, or ability to go to work. Launching online and across billboards, the campaign shows brief text message conversations between a woman and her friend that appear innocent, however, they are based on real-life situations of abuse.
One text reads “Nah, he doesn’t like it when I’m out late”, with another reading “Sorry, this is Sara now. John uses my phone sometimes.”
The campaign comes as a response to the significant rise in domestic abuse in recent months, with Shine working more intensively and longer hours to meet the safety needs of clients.
Shine acting general manager, Sally Ward, says it’s important for friends and family to be aware of warning signs of abuse and how to act upon them.
“The signs are often very subtle. This campaign is about raising awareness about how abuse at home is not always physical and, even if there are physical elements, they may not be easy to recognise from the outside.
“We’re asking people to look out for their loved ones. In particular, watch for signs of unequal power or control in a relationship as this may indicate that something is not right.”
Shine reports that many people who experience domestic violence say emotional and psychological abuse can be just as bad as physical, if not worse, and can be harder to recover from in the long term.
“If you think someone may be in a situation where their partner is trying to control their movements, activities or work attendance, check in with the person,” says Ward.
“The next step is to call Shine helping for guidance. That’s what we are here for, we know what to do and how to help.”
The concept behind the campaign was created and developed by Chillbox Creative, who with the recent spike in domestic violence, knew there was an urgency to develop an approach that would have a real impact.
“In developing our concepts, we wanted to provide a fresh perspective and encourage New Zealanders to re-evaluate their assumptions about domestic abuse,” says Gabriel Lunte, creative director at Chillbox Creative.
“The work Shine does is invaluable, and we consider it a privilege to have played even a small part in their ongoing efforts to eliminate domestic violence in New Zealand.”
Suncorp New Zealand and Westpac have jumped on board in support of the campaign, with Suncorp making an additional one off $100,000 donation to support Shine during the Covid-19 crisis.
Westpac has previously helped Shine co-create a free online education tool for employers and employees and in 2017 was the first corporation in New Zealand to receive Shine’s DVFREE workplace tick.
Gina Dellabarca, Westpac’s general manager consumer banking and wealth, says Westpac is supporting Shine’s latest campaign in the hope more New Zealander’s will recognise warning signs and ultimately put a stop to domestic abuse.
“As a DVFREE employer we have avenues for our people to safely let us know if they are experiencing violence or abuse at home and tools to support them.
“We’re supporting this campaign because we want to help more New Zealanders recognise some of the signs of abusive or controlling behaviour, so they are better equipped to help friends and family in need.”
Campaign videos can be seen on Shines’s Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as Youtube, while Digital LED billboards will light up Auckland city for a week.
As well as providing practical, frontline support for adult victims and their children, Shine also aims to raise $25,000 for those in need to get safe and stay safe.
If you suspect a friend, family member or colleague is unsafe in their relationship, you can call the Shine helpline for advice on how to help.
You can go to 2shine.org.nz to find different ways to safely help your loved one with emotional and practical support.