The new campaign, in association with NGO Swayam, will be displayed across 79 police stations in Kolkata.
The Kolkata Police has agreed to support the campaign #StopDomesticViolence created by Rediffusion and Swayam, a city-based women’s rights organisation. Swayam was founded in 1995 to advance women’s rights, facilitate women’s empowerment, and end violence against women. In a bid to generate awareness, the campaign posters will be displayed across all 79 police stations under the jurisdiction.
The campaign highlights different forms of domestic violence, and underlines that men who abuse come from all socioeconomic backgrounds. There are men who may superbly present themselves as publicly upright and responsible citizens, but have a vastly different persona at home.
Amrita Das Gupta, associate director of Swayam, says, “Domestic violence is a deep-rooted structural problem in our society caused due to patriarchy and gender inequality, which prevents women from leading a life free from violence and dignity. Through this campaign, Swayam hopes to involve individuals, corporates and institutions to support #StopDomesticViolence and help raise awareness around domestic violence.”
Nilanjan Dasgupta and Piyash Ghosh, EVP and ECD (respectively), Rediffusion, added, “During COVID-19 lockdown, incidents and reporting of domestic violence increased by 20-70 per cent across the world, and the National Commission for Women reported a twofold increase in domestic violence reporting in India. UN Women recognised this situation as a ‘Shadow Pandemic’."
They added that the lockdown has hugely exacerbated the incidence and intensity of violence faced by countless women and girls, both in their parental and matrimonial homes, as they are locked in with their abusers 24x7.
"Even after the lockdown has been lifted partially, many women still can't approach Swayam due to the COVID-19 pandemic, limited public transport, no access to money and difficulties in their home situation. We hope the #StopDomesticViolence campaign will help us raise awareness about the shadow pandemic and help survivors of violence reach out for support,” they said.
Launch and immediate impact
Since the launch of the campaign, Swayam witnessed a 183 per cent increase in new referrals in June 2020, as compared to June 2019. A significant increase in the number of new women approaching the NGO has also been recorded.
Close to 290 individuals and organisations have shared this campaign in three different languages in India, Bangladesh and the USA.The final campaign in three languages (English, Bangla and Hindi) was launched between June 9 and 11 on Swayam and Rediffusion’s social media handles.
A press note mentions that since the launch of this campaign, a number of organisations throughout India have approached Swayam and expressed interest in using this campaign in their field areas.
In West Bengal, an organisation working with adolescent girls has approached Swayam to use this campaign to raise awareness. Another national-level organisation working with men and boys in different parts of India wants to use the posters.
Swayam, says the note, is also in discussion with the auto union in Kolkata to launch this campaign in different auto routes in the city. Swayam is in discussion with a number of corporates, who might be willing to share these material in their work spaces to help raise awareness about this vital issue.