Refuge launches ‘Background of Support’ donations campaign as huge numbers continue to experience domestic abuse

On the 15th December, Refuge launches a donation-drive to help raise funds for women and children who are suffering from domestic abuse, by harnessing an overlooked media space – video conferencing backdrops.

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Domestic abuse is the biggest social issue affecting women and children and has never
been more of an issue than it is now, as COVID-19 restrictions have forced women and
children to stay at home with their abusers. With new lockdown restrictions in place, and
Christmas fast approaching, the end of 2020 is forecast to be very challenging for women
and children experiencing domestic abuse across the country. Now more than ever, Refuge needs to reach survivors on a bigger scale, and must urgently generate the income needed to keep its services running.

This new fundraising campaign, created by BBH, launches with a simple yet powerful idea – to turn video conferencing backgrounds into donation spaces. With tens of millions of video calls happening each and every day, BBH and Refuge have harnessed this overlooked media channel to increase support for those who need it most.

The ‘Background of Support’ can be downloaded by anyone and used as a background on their video calls, to show support for Refuge. It features a powerful statistic on the number of women who experience abuse every year, in relation to the minutes spent on video calls, and a built-in QR that prompts viewers to support Refuge and help raise funds at this critical time. By turning this overlooked media space into a donation driving mechanism, Refuge is mobilising a network of supporters, helping to raise much needed funds for women and children suffering domestic abuse this winter.

The campaign launches with a film featuring Oscar-winner and Refuge patron, Olivia
Colman, CBE, along with Refuge supporters, who explain the new fundraising feature and how the public can get involved. By using a combination of celebrities and supporters, the film reinforces the message that domestic abuse can happen to women from all walks of life. It also demonstrates the huge potential for this simple background change to go viral.

Lisa King, Director of Communications at Refuge says:
“Up and down the country, women and children are experiencing domestic abuse in their
thousands. They are trapped with their abusers, cut off from support and isolated. With one in four women experiencing domestic abuse in their lifetime and a shocking two women being killed every week by a current or former partner in England and Wales, statistics that even predate COVID-19, never before has raising awareness of domestic abuse and the life-saving support Refuge offers been more necessary.

We hope that, as we reach the end of the year, people will show their festive spirit and
support this simple action by lending ‘the background of support’ to their video calls. Taking this simple action will raise both awareness and vital funds. It’s a powerful idea but that will change lives and will help us keep the doors to our services open into the new year.”

Kimberley Gill, Creative Director at BBH London, says:
“Domestic abuse has never been such a huge issue as it is right now. Here's a new way to show support and donate.”

Alongside the film, the background asset will also be visible in prominent OOH sites across the country, in which more people can simply raise their phone to the QR code and donate to Refuge.

Link to background & donate: https://bit.ly/3mCFc0G
Link to Refuge website - https://www.refuge.org.uk/

BBH

Bartle Bogle Hegarty is one of the world’s most famous creative advertising agencies. Founded in 1982 by John Bartle, Nigel Bogle and John Hegarty, the agency has produced campaigns for many of the world’s most illustrious brands. Today, BBH London is a set of complementary creative specialisms, working together to unlock the power of difference for our clients. BBH is part of Publicis Groupe and has offices in London, New York, Singapore, Shanghai, Mumbai, LA and Stockholm and employs 1000 staff worldwide.

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