NSW Police have released a powerful video campaign about domestic violence, and it’s clear from the beginning that a lot of care has been taken to get this campaign right.
Of course, an awareness campaign doesn’t fix everything – far from it. But it’s a great place to start, particularly when it carries such an important message.
Here are five things we love about what this campaign is doing.
1. The title.
“It’s Not Your Fault”, is an important reminder to sufferers of domestic abuse that nobody except their abuser is responsible for their situation.
2. The diversity.
The video incorporates victims of different ages, races and even genders. Families of different kinds – those with young children, those with older children, those without children – and from varied walks of life are affected by abuse. For victims who don’t look like traditional “victims”, and particularly for men, wider acceptance of their situation can mean the difference between coming forward and keeping quiet.
The message is clear: Domestic violence is pervasive, and anyone can be a victim.
3. The neighbour’s interference.
For people who overhear or see domestic violence occurring, it’s easy to justify doing nothing. I don’t know the whole story. I don’t want to embarrass anyone. I would hate to be wrong. It’s not not my place.
The video shows a neighbour who is willing to step up and call the police when she notices abuse occurring next door. She doesn’t stop to think about the implications if she’s wrong. Her quick thinking demonstrates a truth that some people would rather not acknowledge: the cost of reporting domestic violence, even if you’re wrong, is far less tragic than the cost of not reporting real abuse.
4. The approach of the police.
In a perfect world, police would take every report of domestic violence seriously. Sadly, that’s not always the case, but this campaign demonstrates that it’s something the police are working towards. The video shows the police carefully documenting the woman’s injuries and listening to her side of the story.
5. The perpetrator’s arrest.
Domestic violence isn’t a private dispute to be resolved between partners. It’s a crime. The depiction of criminal consequences for perpetrators, like the arrest in this video, is vital.