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Canadian Women's Foundation PSA Presents Differing Outcomes in a Story of Gender Based Violence


In the third evolution of the Signal for Help Campaign, the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Juniper Park\TBWA spotlight the importance of responders in an impactful PSA

Canadian Women's Foundation PSA Presents Differing Outcomes in a Story of Gender Based Violence

Moving into the third year of their partnership, Juniper Park\TBWA and the Canadian Women’s Foundation continue to collaborate on the Signal for Help. Late last week they launched their new PSA, ‘Change the Story’, to continue to shift the culture around gender-based violence from stigma to one of support for survivors.  

When public health restrictions were introduced in 2020, the risk of gender-based violence rose sharply in Canada. In response, the Canadian Women’s Foundation launched the Signal for Help, a covert way to ask for help without leaving a digital trace. A year later, the Canadian Women’s Foundation introduced an action guide for those who see the Signal, accessible through a text number representing the Signal for Help gesture: 540-540.  

While two thirds of people in Canada know a woman who has experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, only one in five feels very confident in their ability to support someone experiencing abuse. The Canadian Women’s Foundation saw an opportunity to speak to responders directly and address their lack of confidence in knowing what to do or say to help someone facing abuse. As a result, ‘Change the Story’ was created.  

“Abuse is preventable, and I’m thrilled with this opportunity to demonstrate how we can all offer survivors of violence our caring, non-judgmental support,” says Andrea Gunraj, VP public engagement at the Canadian Women’s Foundation. “Millions have already taken action to share the Signal for Help. We’ve seen powerful viral news stories of people responding to women and girls using the Signal to get help in distress. There’s no reason we can’t all get equipped to take action where we live, work, and play, too.”

The new PSA from the Canadian Women’s Foundation highlights the role of responders in addressing gender-based violence and drives viewers here where they can take the Signal for Help Responder online mini-course, subscribe and listen to the Signal for Help podcast, and sign up for the Signal for Help Learning Journey.  

“As powerful as the Signal for Help is, we also need to show people that knowing how to respond to the signs of gender-based violence is what truly changes the story for many women,” says Sasha Newton and Gira Moin, associate creative directors, Juniper Park\TBWA. “This approach calls attention to another side of the narrative, with the aim to give responders ‘encouragement to reach in’ in the same way that the Signal for Help encourages those experiencing abuse to reach out.” 

In this PSA, the same story is told with two endings – one from a reporter reflecting how most gender-based violence stories unfold, and one from a responder who saw that something was off and reached out to offer non-judgmental support. The power of this juxtaposition seeks to tell viewers that when you know how to respond to the signs of abuse, you can change the story.  

The PSA, directed by Christina Yu, launched across social media and programmatic channels. The spot was created by Juniper Park\TBWA (English) and Tam-Tam\TBWA (French), produced by Merchant, post production by Saints Editorial and Alter Ego, audio by Sting, media by Touché Media. 


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Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, Safety

Juniper Park\TBWA, Mon, 03 Apr 2023 13:09:34 GMT