‘The Window Project’ was an innovative pop-up display raising awareness of the domestic violence faced by many women and families in Canada that ran from December 6th to December 13th, 2015. Over the course of their lives one in three women will experience intimate partner violence and every year over 350,000 Canadian children witness abuse in their households. Research shows this violence surges during the holiday season with calls to Ontario women’s shelters increasing by as much as 30%.
FCB Toronto partnered with the Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses (OAITH) and Yellow Brick House, we created a holiday window display in downtown Toronto that could shine a light on domestic violence.
At first glance the window looked like a festive scene of a family sitting down for a holiday meal however upon closer inspection it transformed to one depicting domestic violence. By texting a number, passers-by could immediately stop the violence in the scene and provide a donation to the partnering organizations. The window was supported by a microsite providing facts and resources on violence against women.
The campaign created an immediate conversation. In just one week ‘The Window Project’ received 75 million earned impressions with coverage from the New York Times, Globe and Mail and City News. The campaign video was seen over 250,000 times across Facebook and Youtube and reached over 4.5 million people on Twitter.
Step It Up! was a successful campaign developed by a coalition of provincial women’s networks, rape crisis centres, women’s emergency shelters and second stage housing programs, women’s centres, labor, equity seeking groups, community social services and individuals. The goal of the campaign was to urge all political parties, especially during elections, to make commitments on action to stop violence against all women in the province. From approximately 2003 until the 2014 Election Step It Up brought significant attention to the 10 Steps to End Violence Against Women:
In 2008, OAITH released Survivor Voices, a summary of 149 survivors' voices from 11 communities across Ontario. Among the many outcomes of this project, we identified a strong theme that women survivors of abuse want to be actively and meaningfully engaged in improving community services for women who experience violence and the work to end violence against women.
To explore ways of doing this, OAITH took on the Survivor Voices Inclusion Project.
Through funding from Status of Women Canada, OAITH representatives travelled around Ontario to 20 different communities from September 2011 to March 2013. In total, 373 participants engaged in workshops, surveys, VAW sector events, and one on one contact with stakeholders. Participants included survivors, staff at women’s service agencies and community partners.
The result of this in-depth consultation was our Survivor Inclusion model, a way of creating conversation between VAW organizations and survivors, and a way of working that builds practices of engaging survivors and incorporating their voices into the work in an ongoing way. By engaging survivors meaningfully and hearing their voices and learning from their experiences, our services and advocacy can only improve, and the movement to end violence against women will be stronger.