It’s High Season for Domestic Violence: 2 Nonprofits Light Up Times Square with Poster Campaign and Public Service Announcement Highlighting Emotional Abuse
As tensions rise during political debates at the Thanksgiving dinner table or other holiday gatherings with family, incidents of domestic violence are also rising, research shows. Society’s expectation of being cheerful on the holidays often has the opposite effect for victims of abuse, which is why two leading domestic violence nonprofits light up the streets of Times Square and beyond this week with their second national poster campaign on domestic violence.
After receiving industry recognition for “The Last I’m Sorry” campaign, Safe in Harm’s Way Foundation, DomesticShelters.org and Neon, An IPG Health Company are once again collaborating to speak out against domestic violence with another message from compelling public interest.
PSA imaging wisely uses the body language of a husband and wife seated at a table to highlight the underlying scars of emotional abuse. The man in the image seems to loom over the woman, physically encroaching on her space, while the woman simultaneously shrinks in fear, discomfort and shame. Along with the scary image, there’s the take home message that many abuse victims need to hear: “No one should make you feel small.”
“The essence of this campaign is the feeling one gets when one feels less or diminished in an intimate relationship. The nuance exists in this unspoken and painful relationship between partners. We focused on this simple truth so that people can relate to their own lived experience, even on an intuitive level,” said Sam Lauro, Group Art Supervisor at Neon.
The imagery was crafted using CGI in partnership with Carioca Studio, a Romania-based full-service visual content house, using the elements of body language and expression to bring the uncomfortable feeling of being to life. smothered in your own relationship.
Shown on over 340 screens nationally in high-traffic areas like the Times Square entrance, Union Station in DC, office lobbies and elevators, gas stations, billboards, digital bulletin boards and mall kiosks across the country, this “small” domestic violence awareness campaign is anything but.
“We are on a mission to disrupt complacency in a very public way, because getting a message like this in front of victims of domestic violence is no easy task. Abusers who use forms of isolation as a weapon to control their victims are to blame for this,” said Caroline Markel Hammond, CEO of Safe in Harm’s Way Foundation.
Safe in Harm’s Way is an online platform that safely connects survivors to healing resources and provides a one-of-a-kind public database of conviction records. The organization recognizes acts of intense cellphone surveillance, barring contact with family and friends, or generally limiting a partner’s access to the outside world as incredibly common red flags for domestic violence. This form of abusive isolation has caused Safe in Harm’s Way to return again and again to the billboard format, making this campaign the nonprofit’s third appearance on national billboards.
Ashley Rumschlag, CEO and President of DomesticShelters.org, the largest online searchable directory of domestic violence programs and shelters in the United States and Canada, says that while notice boards are an especially important way to reach victims of domestic violence, the journey to formulating an escape plan often begins with a Google search.
“There are over 10 million searches online every month for information about domestic violence in the United States and Canada alone, and we want to be there at the other end of that search, ready to offer all the right resources when victims need them most,” Rumschlag said.
All campaign images mention both Safe In Harm’s Way and DomesticShelters.org, as well as the Feeling-Small.com initiative microsite developed by Neon, An IPG Health Company. The first of its kind in space, the site itself is designed as a complete decision tree matrix; a series of guiding questions that address visitors’ specific situational needs and provide them with resources based on their answers.
“We’ve kept Feeling-Small.com fast, straightforward and as secure as possible, knowing that often individuals will only have precious seconds to get the help or information they need. Fully equipped with innovative security features to ensure victims are protected when seeking help, the site is also inclusive and informative, and we hope it will be a lifeline for anyone who may need it,” said Morgan Mellas, Director lead artist at Neon.