Cheil Romania: #IsolateViolence

While social distancing is massively helping the overburdened healthcare system, another dangerous virus is spreading in people’s homes. Domestic violence has registered a surge as those with an inclination towards abuse are spending more time in uninterrupted contact with their victims. Sometimes in the same room, as more than 55% of Romanians live in overcrowded homes, according to Eurostat.

One million Romanians (out of a total population of 19.5 million) have entered technical unemployment status because of the lockdown, and, as the economic situation is deteriorating, hardships and income insecurity are bound to lead to even more pretexts for violence. Every 30 seconds, a Romanian woman is beaten, and 30% have been physically or verbally abused from the age of 15. In the current pandemic, these numbers will increase.

Beyond raising awareness to the surge in violence, the #IsolateViolence campaign is offering victims valuable advice from various specialists on a dedicated digital platform. Ranging from legal counseling to practical tips for victims and their relatives in these unusual partial or total curfew times, such as how to signal distress, how to create an escape plan and how to approach the Police. The IzoleazaViolenta.ro platform includes encouragement messages from women who have managed to escape from various violent scenarios or toxic relationships.

The films are building on the main types of charts which have circulated on the news and in social media illustrating the need for social distancing and reinterpret them in a surprising fashion to present the dramatic spread of the domestic violence virus during this quarantine period.

The visuals explore the theme of the microscopic image of the virus in which spike proteins arranged in the characteristic shape of a crown, on the surface of the cell incorporating the RNA genetic material, become various stark scenes of domestic abuse.

Here is also short statement from Carmen Nemes, president of ANAIS Association: “These are indeed very troubling times for everyone, but the plight of the women locked inside an apartment for weeks on end during curfews next to a violent partner is particularly dire. We want to inform society about the issue and we urge the authorities to intervene promptly when any act of violence is reported.”

ANAIS Association and Cheil Centrade have begun their collaboration in March 2019 with the release of “Unquiet Voices” a breakthrough branded content initiative, shortlisted at Cannes Film Festival in which actual survivors of domestic violence gave voice to scenes of violence in century-old silent movies made available for public domain use.

The case film of that campaign can be watched here.