Friday, February 09, 2007

“What’s it going to take?”

Women’s Aid, a national domestic violence charity have begun a new national campaign this month "What's it going to take?" using a range of famous faces. The campaign, from Grey London, consists of a series of images taken by the photographer Rankin, in which celebrities’ faces have been made up to look like they have been the victims of domestic violence. Both Rankin and Grey donated their services for free for this campaign and the charity’s media partners also donated free media space.

The celebrities taking part include Jemma Kidd, make-up artist; Anna Friel, Actress; Fern Britton, presenter; Fay Ripley, actress; Anne-Marie Duff, actress; Miquita Oliver, presenter; Fiona Bruce, journalist; Honour Blackman, actress; and Kate Thornton, presenter.

By focusing on the celebrity culture, the campaign endeavours to emphasise the fact that if a public figure were suffering from such abuse everyone would be aware of the issue. The campaign asks everyone to “act until women and children are safe” – so – to admit domestic abuse is a problem, call it by its name and talk to someone about it. Nicola Harwin, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said “We want this powerful campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence, to get people talking about it, to make those experiencing it to realise that they’re not alone, and to get everyone to do something to help.”

With one in four women being affected by domestic violence at some point in their lifetime and two women every week in England and Wales being killed by their partner or ex-partner, this hard-hitting campaign appears long overdue. When it does not affect you or someone you know directly it is easy I suppose not to pay much attention to the issue. In this culture where celebrities’ lives are constantly splashed all over the media, leading the general public to feel as if we ‘know’ them, it is a clever ploy from Women’s Aid to use this to their advantage. And, why should they not? By using these famous faces they have been able to make people think about how they would feel if it was someone that they knew living this life. And hopefully this will encourage people to look for the signs of abuse in the people that they know.

I like this campaign and I hope that it does achieve the desired effect. Given the statistics, I could very well know someone that this affects/will affect, or indeed have it affect my life in the future. A scary prospect. As I say, I hope the campaign is successful.

Should you wish any further information on the charity or the campaign itself, visit

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At 1:21 PM, Blogger Stan Lee said...

I think this is a great idea, but it hasn't resulted in a great ad. The effects of violence are so strong that I have trouble recognising the celebs in question.

Without PR is suspect most people who saw the ad wouldn't know it was a celeb either. Like I said, great idea, but a missed opportunity given the coverage the use of celebs will probably garner in the media.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Lisa Breslin said...

True, but I think that it is maybe the shock factor that they are going for and so the effects of violence in this case take precedence over the celebrity. But then, why use a celebrity.

In Marie Claire it has been given a great deal of coverage, but without the same elsewhere, you could be right.


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