Ottawa – Today, Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) is launching a new national awareness campaign illustrating how violence against women (VAW) shelters and transition houses are “More Than” shelter.
The “More Than” campaign is both for women who may be experiencing abuse and those who may know someone experiencing violence. It details how VAW shelters and transition houses offer services beyond an essential safe bed to sleep in, such as counselling, safety planning, and children’s programming. The campaign directs viewers to ShelterSafe.ca, WSC’s national online directory of VAW shelters that enables women to quickly connect to their local shelter via an interactive map.
“This national awareness campaign is so important, especially as we continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and are seeing increasing rates of gender-based violence,” said Lise Martin, WSC’s executive director. “Many people don’t realize that you don’t have to move into a shelter or transition house in order to receive services. You can call one for advice, safety planning, and counselling even if you’re not sure if you’re in an abusive relationship. Friends and family can call if they think someone they know needs help. There are countless outreach programs for those who aren’t living within the shelter.”
Featuring informational content across social media, broadcast and connected television, radio, and out-of-home placements, “More Than” is an exciting and fully integrated campaign. At the forefront of the initiative is the multi-platform release of a 60-second PSA, and its 30-second alternate version, that appears to be about how women employ various methods to get home safely. However, the PSA switches to a thought-provoking conclusion that asks viewers to imagine how women feel if they don’t feel safe once they get inside their home.
As the campaign rolls into Spring, individual shelters, along with provincial and territorial shelter associations, will have the opportunity to customize some of the campaign assets for their own marketing and awareness-raising needs.
The campaign will roll out over the first half of 2022, with all materials having English and French iterations. WSC thanks lg2, Canada’s largest independent creative agency, and Union Media for their dedicated work in developing and implementing this campaign. For more information on the campaign, including links and a timeline of events, visit www.sheltersafe.ca.