image for Refuge and McCann Bristol subverts Father's Day

Refuge and McCann Bristol subverts Father's Day

Published on Thursday, 13th June 2019, contributed by McCann

Domestic abuse charity looks at the flipside of Father’s Day with its ‘Turn To Us’ campaign advert telling opposing stories in one poem.

For many, Father’s Day is a celebration of everything that’s good about dads. For others it can be a harrowing reminder of a childhood witnessing and experiencing domestic abuse and living in fear.

With around 800,000[i] children experiencing domestic abuse in this country every year, and around 3,500 children accessing Refuge’s services this Sunday, the poem, created by McCann Bristol, is a poignant reminder of the huge numbers of children experiencing the issue up and down the country.

One of five in a collection of reverse poems, “Remembering My Father” will be published in Sunday’s Observer – Father’s Day – as part of the Turn To Us campaign. It tells two opposing stories depending on which way the poem is read. Top to bottom, it’s an ode to a great dad. But turn it on its head and it reflects the reality of a family under siege from an abusive man.

It aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse and provide a reminder that no matter what time of year, no one should suffer in silence. They should turn to Refuge for support.

This award-winning, pro-bono campaign remains vitally important in a world where domestic violence remains a terrible stain on our society – insidious and pervasive.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said: “Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country today. It is a life and death issue. Worryingly, too few of those affected by domestic abuse recognise it as a crime. Refuge is here to provide support and sanctuary to those who need its services; we want women and their children to know that even on Father’s Day, no one should experience violence at home. Support is available. Turn to Refuge.”

Jon Elsom, Group Executive Creative Director of McCann Central said: “This advert is a timely reminder that whilst many children will celebrate amazing dads there will be others unable to do so; who are instead frightened and scared. It has been a privilege for McCann Bristol to roll out this carefully crafted campaign and share information about this pernicious issue whilst providing a lifeline to thousands by letting them know about Refuge’s amazing services which really do save and change lives.”

As the poem is published, Refuge is thanking everyone who has contributed to, supported and generously given their time to this amazing and innovative campaign. It has been a huge success with visits to www.refuge.org.uk shooting up after previous reversible poem adverts were launched around Christmas.

The campaign was created by Zane Radcliffe and Ken Sara of McCann Bristol. Media for the advert was negotiated by Universal McCann based in McCann’s Bristol office. FleishmanHillard and McCann Bristol provided PR for the campaign. Everyone involved has donated their services to Refuge free of charge.

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