Domestic violence is often suffered in silence – a reality that can be fatal. To help women suffering from domestic violence in Israel and increase awareness for the critically important national DV helpline, Havas Tel Aviv partnered with leading women’s magazine Laisha to advertise the helpline prominently on the front cover so women are aware of the resource.
To learn more about the results of the campaign and why it’s so important in Israel, Dare! spoke with Daniel Bnaya, Creative Director at Havas Tel Aviv.
Connecting women to domestic violence resources is important everywhere – is there anything in particular happening in Israel that made this campaign so important?
200 women in Israel were murdered by their intimate partner during the past decade – 5 times more than in England, Italy, or France. Today, there are still over 200,000 women living with abusive partners – but only 4% of them are aware of Israel’s lifesaving helpline, *6724.
Can you talk about the process of bringing this idea to life?
‘Laisha’ is the most popular women’s magazine in Israel. In order to bring this idea to life we had to change the usual cover’s format for the first time in 75 years, and we were greatly pleased to see that Karina Shtotland, Editor in Chief, immediately saw the potential to save women’s lives through this cover.
Once we aligned on the idea, we began crafting it. We chose the colour red for the logo to give it a sense of caution, and chose white for the helpline number to make it stand out. Since ‘Laisha’ means ‘For the Woman’ in Hebrew, we decided to include a personal message using our logo. The exact translation is:
For the woman who lives with an abusive partner, you’re not alone.
The anonymous helpline available 24/7
As we did not have a budget, our only asset was the magazine’s cover, and we hoped to gain free media coverage to spread the number across the country.
Did you work with any external parties – like focus groups of women, etc – to execute this campaign?
To execute this campaign, we worked in collaboration with the helpline association. They were very appreciative of our initiative and helped us to phrase our message in the most effective and sensitive way.
Do you think this campaign played a role in reducing stigma around asking for help?
We see a lot of campaigns against domestic violence every year. Although they are all very important, I believe that ‘Helpline on the cover’ managed to be the first campaign in Israel to actually be a “call to action”. By publishing an issue that highlighted the number so explicitly, we have had an impact on the reality that so many women face every day.
Can you speak to the results of this campaign? Was there anything surprising about the results?
The campaign had a phenomenal impact. Our mission became a national mission within hours, as thousands of people used our magazine’s cover to share the helpline number on social media – including the official Twitter account of the state of Israel. In addition, every news show on TV (and there are many in Israel) discussed the magazine’s cover, which gave the helpline number free media time.
Within 48 hours of publication, calls to the helpline increased by 500%, and even a month and a half later, the increase is still rising.
During this period, the helpline doubled its volunteer staff, donations to combat domestic violence increased X19, and over 1000 victims of domestic violence received assistance and changed their lives.
What stands out in those results is the number of calls that skyrocketed in the first week.
Prior to publishing, we talked to the manager of the helpline, who told us she expects to see the impact in a few weeks or months, since domestic violence victims need time to decide whether to call the number or not because it is not an easy decision. She believed that the greatest outcome of this campaign would be that women will memorise the number, so we didn’t expect an immediate increase in calls.
Can men experiencing domestic violence also use this resource, or was the campaign specifically targeted for women?
This helpline is for women only. They can call it anonymously 24/7 and receive answers in every language they need. Our campaign with the women’s magazine ‘Laisha’ was specifically targeted to women and was published ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of violence against women.