Domestic Violence Stop it at the start
The Australian government has launched “Stop it at the start”, an integrated advertising campaign tackling the roots of domestic violence in childhood and adolescence. The TV, radio, print and online ads are aimed at influencers – parents and family members of children aged 10–17, as well as the teachers, coaches, community leaders and employers of young people. At the heart of the campaign is a challenging online and television commercial, “Respect”, in which girls and women are subjected to abuse by boys and men, abuse that is excused by those around them. The campaign website at respect.gov.au includes tools and resources to help influencers of young people to reflect on their own attitudes, and talk about respect with the young people in their life. Brochures include “The Conversation Guide”, “The Excuse Interpreter” and “The Respect Checklist”. An
The Thinking Behind The Campaign
“On average, one woman is killed every week at the hands of a current or former partner. One in three women has been a victim of physical or sexual violence, since the age of 15, from someone known to them. One in four young people are prepared to excuse violence from a partner. This is a cycle of violence, which starts with disrespect. It starts with the attitudes and behaviours that are dismissed by adults. Children form their beliefs from the world around them – what they hear, see and talk about. Sometimes, without meaning to, we ignore disrespectful behaviour, or prefer not to get involved.
What we often don’t realise is that our language can carry hidden meanings. The excuses we make can allow disrespect to grow. Research shows we teach boys this behaviour towards girls is ‘just what boys do.’ We teach girls to accept it, and tell them ‘It’s ok, he probably did it because he likes you’. We may not realise how much our words shape young people’s view of the world. As they grow, children learn to accept our excuses. Gradually, boys and girls start to believe that disrespect is just a normal part of growing up. By making excuses, we pass on our beliefs about men and women to the next generation. We are unintentionally part of the problem. But we can all be part of the solution.”
Stop It At The Start Credits
The Stop It At The Start campaign was developed at BMF, Sydney, by executive creative director Cam Blackley, associate creative director/copywriter Tim Bishop, art director Bettina Clark, copywriter Tom Johnson, head of planning Hugh Munro, executive chairman Matt Melhuish, creative services director Clare Yardley, senior producer Mel Herbert, art buyer Basir Salleh, print producer Karen Liddle, head of client and business innovation Kura Tyerman, account director Kyle Abshoff, account manager Siena Shuttler.
Photography by Toby Dixon was produced at Chee Productions by Tamiko Wafer.