KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – Wednesday March 12, 2014 – #NoExcuseForAbuse is the plea by Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) to raise awareness on domestic violence in Malaysia. The campaign, in the form of an art installation, kicked off in Publika Mall in Kuala Lumpur on March 8, in conjunction with International Women’s Day. The exhibition showcased floating white blouses with ‘voices’ of survivors meticulously hand-stitched in red thread.
“It’s alright; he apologised. He said he’ll never do it again.”
“It’s only a broken arm. At least he’s not having an affair.”
“I’m afraid of him, but leaving him will just bring shame to my family.”
These are some of the excuses victims stood by while they endured the abuse and trauma. The blouses portrayed a haunting feeling, similar to the fear experienced by domestic violence victims.
Crafted by TBWA\Kuala Lumpur, the #NoExcuseForAbuse campaign targets the early phase of domestic abuse. It reaches out to those who are in doubt and are questioning the relationships they are in. They are encouraged to make a firm stand that there is no excuse for abuse.
T-shirts with the message ‘Be it physical, verbal or emotional, there’s #NoExcuseForAbuse' were distributed at the exhibition. Visitors were encouraged to make a pledge and tweet with the campaign hashtag to help spread the message and create awareness around domestic violence. Members of the public are also invited to pledge their support on social media with the tag #NoExcuseForAbuse.
The installation art will continue until March 17 at Publika Mall and Hero Market at Sri Damansara It will then be exhibited at Kampung Baru, Puchong from March 22 to 31.
Online posters featuring 27 women volunteers donning the t-shirts were shared on social media. Politicians from both sides of the aisles, namely YB Hajah Nancy Shukri (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department), YB Hannah Yeoh (Selangor Assembly Speaker), YB Nurul Izzah (MP for Lembah Pantai) and YB Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (Puteri UMNO Chief), came together in a special photography session to say no to abuse. The photographs were shared via social media on March 8, with WAO’s radio public service announcements airing on the same day.
An SMS helpline was also launched for the campaign. TINA, or ‘Think I Need Aid,’ is WAO’s SMS helpline that encourages victims of domestic violence to confidentially reach out for help and advice. Victims can SMS TINA at 018 988 8058.
“A team led by Art Director, Justin Phang and Copywriter, Cheah Yi Pin worked tirelessly for more than six months to bring this campaign to life,” said Sa’ad Hussein, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA\Kuala Lumpur. “Other team members include Andrew Pereira, Juliet Tan, Davina Tan, Sarka Fleglova, Janine Wai, Joanne Lie, Johanan Sen, Chey Feng May, Shaun Tay and Alvin Ng.”
Commenting on the campaign, Ivy Josiah, Executive Director at WAO said, “WAO thanks TBWA for lending their creative energies to mount this campaign. It is crucial that we learn to identify the signs of abuse early. If left alone, they may escalate to dangerous levels. I am confident that the art installation and online engagement will stir the right emotions and make women more aware and take action when they know that there is help out there.”
The #NoExcuseForAbuse campaign is supported by the Embassy of the United States of America Kuala Lumpur, TBWA\Kuala Lumpur, Studio DL, Publika and Hero Market.