Social advertising calls on women not to remain silent and not to put up with violence – La Strada Ukraine


International organizations team up with local NGOs to produce a video in an effort to prevent gender-based violence as part of the wider awareness campaign.

A new social advertising campaign of La Strada Ukraine calls on women not to remain silent and not tolerate acts of violence. “The video (released as part of the campaign) continues the public awareness effort aimed to support the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) and reinforces the efforts against the gender-based violence,” said Kateryna Levchenko, president of the NGO La Strada Ukraine at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The video was jointly made by NGO La Strada Ukraine, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), NGO CrimeaSOS and the Roma Women Fund Chirikli. The initiative was supported by the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine and the National Police.

The video characters are ordinary women, of different age, social origin and nationality. “The concept was not chosen occasionally. Prior to formulating it psychologists of La Strada Ukraine held a focus group session with female victims of domestic violence,” Levchenko explained. The video presents four types of violence: physical, psychological, economic and sexual violence. The campaign suggests violence can be recognized by women themselves. Realizing it can be the first step to the salvation. “Messages are very straightforward and short,” Kateryna Levchenko noted.

Public opinion often perceives violence as sexual violence only. Psychological violence is difficult to identify and realize, even more for the victim itself. “Violence is not normal, it’s not something that is acceptable in life. […] It is probably as hard for men as it is for women to recognize and say that this is not something we should accept,” said Caspar Peek, UNFPA representative for Ukraine and Belarus. “We all have to speak up when we see that violence appears or might appear,” he added.

The video is available on the YouTube channel of the NGO La Strada Ukraine and on the social media. The campaign organizers also plan to screen it on TV as social advertising as well as to create information placards and billboards in public places as part of the campaign.