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Nowadays, domestic violence happens to be a universal problem that is addressed worldwide. The case “Break the Silence” describes a campaign that was organized in the early 2000s to tackle the problem in one of the US states. The case gives an insight into the history, overview, planning, accomplishment, and evaluation of the campaign as well as describes its strategies and outcomes.
This is a complex campaign that aims to increase domestic violence awareness. It takes into account cultural and linguistic aspects. To reach the target audience, it uses different strategies, namely, non-commercial-sustained publicity, and grassroots and business partnership.
It started in October 2002. The campaign in question aimed to instruct victims of domestic violence on how to cope with the problem and where to address to get assistance. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) was used. The information about it was provided on different kinds of materials which had been prepared for the campaign. People who called NDVH were explained what to do. Therefore, the hotline was aimed to rescue them from a violent situation at home. To make the target auditory know about the campaign, 4 million “discreet” hotline cards were issued in the first two years. Apart from that, the information in English and Spanish was available in churches and the media.
Besides, a special “Guide for Family and Friends” was created, whereas the Domestic Violence Awareness Month event took place. As for the strategies which the campaign used, there are five of them. The first is to prevent people from considering the situation as shameful. The second one is to ensure victims that there was somebody eager to give them a hand. The third is to make everyone know that domestic violence is terrible. The fourth is to supply information on where to address for assistance. The final one is to make more people informed by involving them personally. In the first 16 months, the campaign resulted in a substantial increase in calls to the hotline. More people found the issue crucial and could give three definitions of domestic violence. Besides, it attracted more than 40 local organizations, with educational institutions among them, to distribute the information about the campaign. Moreover, Verizon Wireless and Texas Broadcasting Association got involved as business partners.
The campaign influences society as it appeals to it with a message to prevent domestic violence from happening. The action can be considered as right because no one has claimed to have been harmed by it, due to its social assistance orientation. From this case, it is possible to learn how to organize a non-commercial-sustained campaign with grassroots organizations and business partners involved in its accomplishment.
The objective of the research was to investigate the issue of domestic violence in Texas. The first step was to create 34 focus groups, with African Americans, Anglos, and Hispanics in them. Then, 1,200 citizens of Texas were interviewed by phone. 74 percent of them stated to have suffered from domestic violence or to be acquainted with somebody who had had such an experience. 31 percent admitted that the problem in their family was very serious. 84 percent were sure they could change the situation themselves. Some people accepted to have addressed for help to somebody they knew, but in many cases, nobody could imagine how to assist in the matter.
Besides, the majority of the abused people could not break up with their aggressive partners, did not realize how violence affects their kids’ conduct, and found violence a usual routine. The following reasons for keeping silent in case of domestic violence were discovered. First, abused people happened to be isolated. Second, they were afraid of their aggressor. So, they did not go to the police because they were scared to get abused again before the police could help them. Third, interrogated victims of domestic violence tended to feel guilty for what had happened to them. Finally, in many cases, they did not know what was supposed to be done from their part. Apart from the above-said, since Texas is a multinational state, the research revealed some critical cultural issues. Hence, the research resulted in the necessity to enlighten the state-citizen on the issue and to provide qualified anonymous assistance to victims.
- The pre-campaign research revealed that people suffering from domestic violence were unlikely to report until something horrible happened. This can be considered as the result of victims’ isolation and shame coupled with their feeling guilty for the situation. Therefore, the campaign was supposed to find ways to address victims effectively so that they broke the silence and made the call.
- If I was expected to develop a similar campaign, I would try to arrange for some victims to be spokespeople. First, they were involved in the situation and know how it is to suffer from domestic violence. Second, they can share their experience on how to manage to tackle the problem. Finally, they might serve a positive example of how to arrive at a positive outcome.
- The campaign’s slogan is an effective message because it addresses victims directly. It lets them know that they are not alone and people are willing to listen to their matters and ready to give them a hand to help them out of the situation. So, victims can just make a call to break the silence. Some other slogans might be “Say no to domestic violence!” or “Home WHYlence? We will save you!”
- The main strengths of the campaign’s private communication strategies are that it reaches the target audience effectively but preserve anonymity, which is crucial. Messages were located in the places where a victim could get them easily. However, for the aggressor, it is kept secret. Other strategies of this kind that can be used are to involve maternity welfare clinics to educate women on how to deal with domestic violence. Besides, it might be of use to install special information counters or even cabins in supermarkets.
- The question is expected to be skipped.
- Grassroot partners can provide more educational insight into the issues. For example, it might be useful to elaborate on a special course to study at schools, colleges, and universities which is aimed to instruct everyone what to do if they come across domestic violence. Besides, grassroots companies can participate in the organization of special events and host them on their premises.
- Apart from the distribution of materials, business partners could participate in the organization of special events, like walks and marathons.
- In might be reasonable to show some real-life stories of domestic violence in the news from time to time with the presenter giving information on how to tackle the problem.
- In this case, non-commercial-sustained advertising manages to achieve the goals of the campaign as it reaches the target audience successfully.
In conclusion, it is necessary to point out that, unfortunately, children are not concerned about the campaign. Despite this, it was successful due to its great organization and strategies. However, the problem is still topical worldwide. Therefore, the experience which was obtained from this campaign can be applied to other campaigns of this kind.