2017 Strategy Awards: Interval House helps women get away

A series of videos aimed to change social perceptions of victims of domestic violence.


Silver: Game Changer
Bronze: Cause

Society is often apathetic towards women who stay in violent domestic relationships. Some ask, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” and diminish the situation rather than lend support. From deep emotional ties to fear or financial reliance, sometimes staying can feel like a woman’s only option.

Working with Interval House, a shelter for abused women and children, Union learned that they do try to leave. On average, a woman makes five attempts to leave an abusive relationship before she finally gets out.

The team wanted to change social perceptions of abuse victims by starting a new conversation to help people feel empathy toward women who struggle to leave abusive relationships.

Through a series of documentary-style videos, the agency captured men’s memories of heartbreak and lost love from their stories about “The One That Got Away.” By reframing the issue from the perspective of abusers, their lovelorn tales start sweet but end dark. The spots show hints of the men’s manipulation, possessiveness and aggression. In the end, it’s clear that “The One That Got Away” is actually a woman who has escaped domestic violence.

The organisation launched the campaign on Valentine’s Day to invert the conversation on relationships and love. The campaign started with a 90-second video and two 30-second videos on Facebook to generate awareness, engagement and scale. With a media budget of $5,000, the videos were viewed by more than 600,000 people and helped start conversations.

Interval House earned more than 6.2 million PR impressions and attention from actors Ashton Kutcher and George Takei. It also saw a 62% increase in donation page visits and a 103% increase in visits to the “Get Help” page.

Brand | Interval House
Agency | Union
Director of strategy | Michelle Campbell