Women’s Aid, a support organisation in the UK, launched a print, outdoor and radio advertising campaign in 2006 using Valentine’s Day to heighten awareness the plight of women affected by male violence. “Sorry. I told you to shut up you stupid cow. It’s your fault I hit you.”
“For 500,000 British women, Valentine’s is just another day. Women’s Aid is there to help every day of the year. Act now to end domestic violence. Visit womensaid.org.uk”. The newspaper advertisement features a range of poems which on the surface appear romantic, but in fact are abusive.
Women’s Aid highlighted Valentine’s Day as the focus for the campaign because one of the features of abusive relationships is that they often begin with what may at first be seen by a woman as a flattering display of romantic love, but along with the chocolates and flowers can come the first danger signs of unreasonable jealousy and possessiveness. In many abusive relationships this ‘love’ becomes violent and controlling – a pattern of physical, emotional, sexual and verbal abuse that often escalates over time.
The Womens Aid Valentine’s Day campaign was developed at Grey, London, by creative director David Alberts, art director Simon Butler and copywriter Geoff Smith. The campaign won the Socially Responsible Advertising Award at the EURO EFFIES, 2007.