-on Nov 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women-
Beijing, China (24 November 2011) – In the wake of a recent domestic violence case that has made headlines, Half The Sky Public Education will release two public service advertisements through TV, public transport mobile media and the Internet on 25 November, The International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The two 15-second PSAs are part of a nation-wide campaign in collaboration with UN Women to encourage the public to knock on a neighbour’s door when they hear domestic violence.
The heroes in the commercials are all everyday human beings who decide to take a simple action –make an excuse to knock on someone’s door– and immediately stop domestic violence. Even if just for a moment, it allows the victim to escape, allows emotions to calm and gives a warning to the perpetrator that people are watching. Creatively coming up with an excuse makes it easier for both parties to not lose face, and makes for less awkward future encounters.
“Worldwide, women and girls continue to suffer violence inside and outside of their homes, often at the hands of intimate partners or persons they think they can trust. Violence against women and girls cuts across boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography. It takes place in peacetime and during conflicts and crises,” said Moni Pizani, Representative and Regional Programme Director, UN Women East and Southeast Asia.“We want to give the public concrete suggestions to action,” said Han Yan Yuen, founder of Half The Sky Public Education. “Domestic violence has been around for a long time, and it’s easy for people to grow ambivalent if they feel that there is nothing they can do about it. Now we are telling everyone: Do something. Knock on the door.”
Director Zachary Au-Yeung, producer Becky Ip, along with a crew of 20 from Bleu Arc Pictures Productions—a company that produced ads for Apple, Canon, Pepsi, Olay and many other international brands—donated their time and resources to the idea creation, artistic direction and the production of these PSAs. They spent a weekend shooting in Guangdong with far fewer resources than they are usually allowed to have.
In the first commercial, we see a child crying frightened by the sounds of a woman getting beaten next door. The parents decide to ring the bell of their neighbors. When the man opens the door, the parents ask, “did you burn something in your kitchen?”
“We want to appeal to the family values of Chinese people,” said director Zachary Au- Yeung. “If there is domestic violence next door, it doesn’t only affect our lives, but it will also influence how our children view domestic violence. We hope that one message will come across: If you want your children to grow up healthily, do something about it, stop domestic violence.”
A similar situation happens in the second commercial— a frail natural gas deliveryman passes by a flat and hears sounds of a woman being beaten. Next we see the deliveryman knocking on a door and an angry man bursts out. The deliveryman then asks, “Did you order natural gas?”
The idea of the whole campaign came from India’s “Ring the Bell” campaign, which is an internationally successful model for intervention of domestic violence, and is a campaign personally endorsed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.
Half The Sky Public Education adopted this model and Breakthrough, the organization behind India’s “Ring the Bell” campaign has been very generous with sharing their know-how and is now our unofficial consultants.
According to a study released in October by the All-China Women’s Federation and the National Bureau of Statistics of China, 24.7% of women have experienced domestic violence—a number that does not include the many cases that went unreported.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their rights worldwide.
Bleu Arc Pictures Production is a house where craftsmanship meets creativity. Since our opening, we are either loved or hated by agencies for our quest for quality and refinement of concepts.
Bleu Arc specializes in the production of local, Greater China and regional television commercials and music videos. We are fully equipped with 35mm film gears, the Red One and medium scale lighting equipment. These would give all our directors maximum flexibility for their pleasure and play. We believe only by having a full kitchen, delicacy and masterpiece could then be created thou discovery.
For us, best of the best only comes once in a lifetime. We prefer to be the one and only.