Reports of domestic abuse increase by 25 per cent over the festive period in Scotland. Police Scotland worked with Edinburgh based creative agency The Union to develop a unique campaign to tackle domestic abuse – with the perpetrators as the target audience.
Officers are called to a domestic incident in Scotland every nine minutes, a figure which increases during the festive period. Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Gillian MacDonald, said, “The festive season is traditionally a time when people get together to celebrate but for some the threat of domestic abuse hangs over them.
“Last year, reports of domestic abuse increased by 25 per cent over the festive period. This is a matter of huge concern and that’s why, each year, we run a campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse during this period of heightened risk.”
The Union were tasked with developing a campaign which spoke directly to the perpetrators, highlighted the fact that domestic abuse is not just physical, and that Police Scotland have a zero- tolerance approach to these crimes. The agency created a powerful concept which flipped perception by using a tight shot of a woman quoting abusing statements before pulling back to reveal that she’s actually a police officer.
The campaign includes cinema and radio advertisements, as well as digital executions across social media throughout Scotland from December 2017 into January 2018.
Kyle Hardie, Managing Director of The Union said, “This campaign squarely confronts those who control, manipulate and abuse their partners and sends a clear message that this behaviour isn’t tolerated in our society. We hope that although the core audience are perpetrators, the campaign will also encourage reporting, and signpost people to organisations who can provide support.’
ACC MacDonald supported this, adding, “Domestic abusers want to control the actions and thoughts of their victims, this can take the form of violence but equally it can be threats or other abuse which demean their victim, destroying their confidence, and isolating them financially or from family and support. This type of abuse is often subtle and not necessarily as obvious as physical violence. However, this behaviour is equally as damaging, with some saying it can be worse than physical violence.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson, said, “Even though we know it happens every year, it’s no less disheartening to find police experience a surge in domestic abuse calls during the festive period. This Police Scotland campaign is an excellent challenge to all perpetrators, reminding them that police officers take a zero-tolerance approach and are fully prepared to take on what is one of society’s most insidious crimes.”