The No More Foundation has released a powerful public-service announcement to raise awareness of another epidemic happening alongside coronavirus: the spike in domestic violence.
Created by MRM McCann, the film opens on a quiet scene of a man washing his hands, visible at a distance through his window. But what at first appears to be a vision of social distancing and safety to prevent the spread of Covid-19 takes a chilling turn. As the camera zooms in, it reveals the legs of a woman whom the man has just beaten.
The message is that domestic violence is an epidemic that we cannot wash our hands of. It urges people who are safe at home to get help when they hear or observe violence next door by calling the police or downloading the Bright Sky app to find a local helpline in the UK.
The work will run in the UK and the US. It was created by James Thorley and Jon Wells, and directed by Calum Macdiarmid through Great Guns.
Domestic abuse has risen dramatically around the world since Covid-19 lockdowns began. At least 15 million additional cases of domestic violence are predicted to occur globally this year as a result of pandemic restrictions, representing a 20% increase, according to new data from the United Nations Population Fund.
Pamela Zaballa, global executive director at No More, said: "The PSA is powerful and disturbing in a way that we hope inspires more people to take domestic violence seriously and become allies in the effort to stop and prevent it – during this crisis and beyond."
Last month, No More and the US-based National Domestic Violence Hotline launched its "#ListeningFromHome" campaign, which encouraged neighbours to become allies in the fight against abuse and look out for hidden warning signs.