Abuse charity seeks funds to help victims #MakeItStop

Solace ChristmasSolace Women’s Aid, the London-based charity that supports women and children who have experienced domestic abuse and sexual violence, is dramatising the long-term effects that domestic abuse victims suffer in a new hard-hitting marketing campaign.

Created by Stack, the activity launches this week and plays out to the Christmas tune Deck the Halls. But as it reaches the line “‘Tis the season to be jolly”, the song gets stuck on a loop, becoming ever more grating as the ad goes on.

The voiceover states: “Many survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence relive their horrific memories alone. Only there is no off-switch without proper help. Make It Stop.”

The music instantly falls silent and the screen goes white. The voiceover continues: “Stop women and children reliving domestic abuse and sexual violence” followed by the call to action to donate £10 to help pay for vital therapy services.

Stack, part of MSQ, was responsible for developing the #MakeItStop campaign, creating a 60 second film, social cut down edits, static posts and radio activity.

The campaign comes at a time when Solace’s services are in demand more than ever. Since the pandemic there has been a 100% increase in the number of survivors accessing the charity’s counselling, with a significant increase in high risk cases.

However, during the height of lockdown, Solace was only able to answer a third of calls due to limited resource.

The charity’s director of business development Jane Jutsum said: “Solace is proud to work on this powerful and important campaign – especially during a year where Covid-19 is further increasing the risk and harm women and children face when they are trying to flee domestic abuse and violence. Solace knows that for many women and their children, home is not a safe place – lockdown doesn’t end.

“As a frontline organisation, we are seeing an increase in the number of women seeking help. Women are coming forward with complex needs, including trauma and mental health needs. It is through our Christmas fundraising campaign that we are looking to fund our vital services and respond to their needs.”

MSQ chief creative officer Lucas Peon said: “We wanted to get everyone to feel what victims go through after they’ve left an abusive partner. The repetition of the music and images in our story doesn’t even come close to the feeling of reliving horrific memories over and over on a loop. Nothing could.

“But it at least opens an emotional door to understanding the issue and the need to help pay for their therapeutic services. Being effective at opening that door, is what we set out to do.”

Earlier this year, Solace Women’s Aid released a campaign in partnership with Twitter, using the social media platform’s ‘Hidden Replies’ feature. The campaign, also created by Stack, showed the horrifying secret story of a seemingly happy couple, played out through text messages.

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