To reach women experiencing domestic abuse during Lockdown 2 and mark the International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, which starts the annual ‘16 days of activism’, Refuge, has launched #iSeeYou, a video campaign supported by Google UK.
Right now hundreds of thousands of women are trapped at home with their abusive partners in lockdown conditions.
Living in fear day in day out, unable to access support. For most women experiencing domestic abuse this won’t have been their first lockdown – they will have spent years isolated and trapped with abuse escalating over time. This campaign is a call out to let them know that they are not alone and Refuge is there to support them – every hour of every day.
Google and Refuge worked together to create the #ISeeYou campaign following reports of a surge in demand during lockdown one earlier this year. By developing an organic social media campaign, led by talent and advocates, Refuge hopes to reach thousands more victims, survivors, and their families.
The video features, among others, Denise Lewis OBE, Malin Andersson and Alex Winter, who have lent their support, voice and time free of charge to take part in this vital campaign. With two women being killed every week by a current and former partner in England and Wales, with deaths escalating during the pandemic, this campaign has the power to save lives.
Lockdown has meant restrictions on movement – the window to call for help, ordinarily very limited, has been reduced yet more. This campaign couldn’t be more urgent. Since the first set of lockdown restrictions, Refuge launched a ‘live chat’ service, which gives women who are too afraid to pick up the phone a way to access support online with specialist Helpline staff. When so much of our lives are lived online it’s crucial that the Helpline is both promoted, and accessible to women without compromising their safety.
“We are incredibly grateful to Google for lending us their support. We know only too well at Refuge how crucial it is that women know how to access help – particularly during lockdown when their options might feel more limited.” said Lisa King, director of communications and external relations at Refuge. “We want every woman experiencing domestic abuse to know that Refuge is here for them every moment of every day – our services are open and they are safe.”
A call to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline or connecting via livechat could be the start of a new beginning for many women – the start of a journey to safety. This video, and the talent who have given their time, is a powerful way to reach women and share our services.”
The #ISeeYou video will launch on 25th November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and will be featured on Refuge’s owned and operated channels.
“We are extremely proud to have supported Refuge in the creation of the #ISeeYou campaign, using our network to involve inspiring talents and promoting the initiative on some of our owned channels.” said Johanna Yaovi, marketing programme manager at Google. “During these uncertain times it is essential for everyone to have access to available resources, especially considering the surge in cases of domestic abuse since the start of the COVID crisis.”
Any woman who needs support should call Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 – free, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or, they visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk to access live chat (available between 3pm-10pm Monday to Friday) or to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted.