As more cities go on lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the NO MORE Foundation and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) have teamed up on a new public awareness and action campaign to respond to a challenging byproduct of isolating at home: victims of domestic violence are increasingly trapped with their abusers.
1 in four women and one in nine men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Reports from China suggest the coronavirus caused a significant spike in domestic violence there, and national and local domestic violence hotlines in the U.S. and U.K. expect huge increases in calls as cities and states need to take more drastic measures to quarantine. The Hotline is hearing from survivors how COVID-19 is already being used by abusive partners to further control and abuse.
Like with COVID-19, the signs of domestic abuse are not always visible. However, now that people are spending almost 24/7 at home, they might hear more coming from their neighbors’ homes than usual. Entitled #Listeningfromhome and created in London by MRM, the campaign aims to heighten people’s awareness of the problem, learn to recognize the signs and encourage them to safely get help if they do hear or observe incidents of domestic abuse.
The Hotline is on the front lines of supporting survivors. The Hotline’s entire team, more than 150 people, began working remotely in mid-March so that they can continue to provide critical, life-saving services for hundreds of thousands of survivors — no matter what happens. Thus, the campaign also asks people who can to make a donation to help support the Hotline’s response efforts.
“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,” said Pamela Zaballa, Global Executive Director of The NO MORE Foundation. “It is an effort to do the most good possible during an especially scary, uncertain time.”
“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,” said Katie Ray-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “For those who know and care about survivors or for those who observe abuse, you can be a part of their safety plan. Whether you are a survivor or someone who cares about a survivor, the Advocates at The Hotline are here to help you understand the best ways to protect yourself and support those at risk.”
“This is a moment in time we cannot miss; a moment to activate the nation to get ‘Listening from Home’ whilst ‘Working from Home’. And importantly, to point people towards the resources to help,” said Nicky Bullard, Chairwoman and Chief Creative Officer, MRM.
About NO MORE: NO MORE is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by increasing awareness, inspiring action, and fueling culture change. Launched in 2013, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit provides public awareness campaigns, marketing tools, and communications resources for anti-violence organizations, large and small. Encouraging everyone – women and men, youth and adults, from all walks of life – to be part of the solution, NO MORE sparks national and international grassroots activism. NO MORE brings together the largest coalition of advocacy groups, service providers, governmental agencies, major corporations, universities, communities and individuals, all under a common brand and a unifying symbol in support of a world free of violence.
About the National Domestic Violence Hotline: For nearly twenty-five years, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has answered the call – over 5.2 million calls, chats and texts to date – from those affected by relationship abuse. As the only 24/7/365 national service provider offering services via call, chat, and text, they work to shine a light on domestic violence by supporting and advocating for survivors, providing hope in times of crisis, and promoting healthy relationships for all.
The Hotline works at every level to ensure a future where all relationships are positive, healthy, and free from violence. Advocates provide support through online chat at loveisrespect.org and TheHotline.org, via text by sending loveis to 22522*, and by phone at 1-800-799-SAFE for The Hotline or 1-866-331-9474 for loveisrespect.
About MRM: MRM is a leading data science, technology innovation and creatively driven relationship marketing agency that helps brands grow meaningful relationships with people. The agency leverages the power of creativity, the beauty of data, the magic of technology and the impact of connections to drive business results. MRM//McCann is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) and a lead agency in the McCann Worldgroup network, with 40-plus offices across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. For information, please visit mrm-mccann.co.uk.