UN Women UK turn words into actions with #drawaline campaign to end violence against women

UN Women in the UK, represented through the National Committee (NC), has invited the public to #drawaline, marking the boundaries against violence that should not be crossed, as it looks to turn the power of the #metoo campaign into definitive action.

The campaign forms part of UN Women’s annual global initiative to ‘Orange the World’ to symbolise a brighter future without violence.

In the UK, violence still affects one in four women, while two women die every week from intimate partner violence. In some parts of the world up to 70% of women are victims of violence, while around the world one in three girls’ first sexual experience is rape. Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria.

To confront this, UN Women NC UK wants to shine a light on violence that is "hidden in plain sight" - in the media, in popular culture, in the street and in homes - by inviting the public to #drawaline to give those women affected by violence a voice and a platform.

The strategy behind the campaign aims to harness the conversation generated by #metoo and its spin offs, as both women and men are finding the strength to confront past and present attackers.

The campaign film sees a number of British celebrities and influential figures, including Billie Piper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Deliciously Ella, Gemma Styles and ITV's Alastair Stewart, drawing an orange line across the screen to represent the women who have been victims of violence, and to mark the end of violence being tolerated in the UK.

The film was shot by Missing Link Films and directed by Alicia MacDonald. It launched on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and will run till 10 December, Human Rights Day. This period is known globally at the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, with famous global landmarks lit up in orange.

It will run online, outdoor and in the press, including the Evening Standard and the Metro.

The chair of UN Women NC UK, Laura Haynes, said: “The prevalence of violence and the abuse of power is shocking, as are the impacts on individuals, communities, companies and nations. We are proud to be engaging people across the UK, raising awareness and much needed funds for UN Women's programmes that work to change policy, help survivors and prevent future violence.

"It is time to #drawaline. For all the women who have said #metoo, for all men who believe they should help and for all of humanity – it is time. This is your chance to turn words into action."

J. Walter Thompson created the campaign. Talking about it, the agency’s executive creative director Lucas Peon said: “With new research this week demonstrating the huge prevalence of domestic violence, it was critical that the campaign inspires as many people as possible to participate in 16 Days of Activism. We all need to come together across age groups, ethnicities, nationalities, gender and class to #drawaline to End Violence against Women and Girls, and start changing lives.”

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