The agency was briefed to develop a campaign targeting perpetrators, victims and bystanders, to educate them on what makes a forced marriage. The campaign aims to reduce the number of forced marriages in the UK by challenging, empowering and inspiring communities to change perception and drive preventative action.
The campaign approach has been developed based on research with the target audience and consultation with key partners and stakeholders.
Research identified a knowledge gap about the non-physical actions of cohesion and a need to highlight the emotional pressure and psychological guilt – for example, making someone feel like they are bringing “shame” on their family.
Forced marriage is associated with physical force or violence, but verbal and psychological pressure can compel someone to marry – and it’s still a crime. The creative not only educates what constitutes “force,” but also shows the impact and breadth of non-physical actions and the scale of emotional and psychological pressure upon the victims.
The print and digital work visualises the layers of pressure smothering the victims, while in film, a simple camera move reduces the victims to inconsequential players in their own lives.
The three brides and one groom represent a range of communities. Casting the campaign was based on the number of cases dealt with by the FMU in 2017, from specific communities within the UK as well as advice from partner organisations.
Designed to be shared across social, these films also appear as cut-downs and simple posts, using each of our community protagonists to allow instant recognition of the issue and the law.
The campaign is supported by the hashtag #righttochoose.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid first revealed the campaign at the International Conference on Ending FGM and Forced Marriage in November.
Sharon Jiggins, EVP at FCB Inferno, said: “This is an emotional campaign that brings to life the feelings of isolation and alienation that the victims experience because of the psychological pressure that is put on them by family members. We want the perpetrators of forced marriage to recognise that making the victims feel guilty or telling them that they will bring shame on the family if they do not marry are unacceptable forms of pressure, and that these are criminal offences. Through showing these different types of pressure we want victims and potential victims to also recognise the signs and thereby seek help.”
Andy Tighe, Director of Communications at the Home Office, said:“Forced marriage is a hugely complex and emotional issue, so it is vitally important that people are educated on why this practice is wrong.”
“This eye-catching campaign is designed to show victims, families and communities that there is advice and support for them, and demonstrates that the UK will not tolerate people being forced to marry against their will.”