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    Drag Him Away

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    Drag Him Away

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    The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) has launched an interactive billboard campaign at Euston Station to raise awareness about how people can intervene to help put a stop to domestic violence. The campaign, which launched 30 April 2012, runs on JCDecaux’s large format e-motion screens and encourages passers by to get involved in the advert by controlling the scene using their mobile phone.

    Created by JWT London, “Drag Him Away” features an abusive domestic situation between a man and a woman with the call to action “USE YOUR PHONE TO STOP THIS NOW GO TO ncdv.org.uk/stop AND DRAG HIM AWAY.” Users can either enter the web address or scan on the featured QR code to start interacting immediately. The participant is able to control the characters by dragging the man away from the woman and onto on that adjacent billboards.  The screens then synchronise to urge people to report any domestic violence situations to the NCDV so that they can intervene on the victim’s behalf.

    This is the first time that e-motion screens have run user controlled content. It is also the launch campaign for Grand Visual’s Agent platform which enables mobile and digital out of home interaction. The 5-screen execution is supported by 4 additional e-motion screens plus D6 formats featuring QR codes that take the user to the website to activate their phone as the remote control.

    Steve Connor, CEO of NCDV, said: “This engaging advert perfectly demonstrates the way in which NCDV helps victims of domestic violence, namely, we can put distance between them and their abuser. It encourages people to call the NCDV and start the process of securing an injunction against the abuser”

    Hugh Todd, Creative Director at JWT London, commented: “An injunction is the quickest way to put a stop to domestic abuse as it puts distance between people in an abusive relationship. We wanted to highlight this fact by using the most modern channels possible. Working with mobile interactive touch screen technology, we were able to encourage members of the public to actually intervene themselves. In the future we hope people will use their phone again to separate victim and abuser, by ringing NCDV directly.”

    Neil Morris, Founder and MD of Grand Visual, commented: “Agent offers consumers control over content as never before seen on DOOH. Handing the public control of on-screen content is a powerful call to action which fosters a deeper level of engagement amongst outdoor audiences. This campaign really drives home NCDV’s message to take action and stop domestic violence now.”

    Spencer Berwin, Managing Director – Sales at JCDecaux, said: “This is the first consumer-controlled campaign to run on our Euston e-motion screens, providing a new way for brands to communicate with the growing rail audience. Rail commuters are highly-connected – 68% have a Smartphone and they are twice as likely to own an iPad as the average adult. Giving commuters the opportunity to control the content on digital screens through their mobiles is an exciting development in Out-of-Home, delivering the NCDV message in a powerful and relevant way.”

    NCDV is extremely please with the work put into this campaign by all parts and would like to thank JWT and Grand Visual for their exceptional work during this campaign.

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    By Fiona Bawden, Times Online (8th May 2007)

    “Steve Connor, a student at City Law School, is a man on a mission. Six years ago he was a fairly directionless 27-year-old. Today, as well as taking the Bar Vocational Course, he is chairman of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, a ground-breaking organisation that he dragged into existence after a friend could not get legal help to protect her from an abusive partner.

    Connor’s route to the Bar has been circuitous. In 2001 he returned from a year in Australia (he says that he would not dignify describing it as a gap year), and took a job as a process server in South London. The job (“I just saw it advertised in the paper”) was not quite as dull as it sounds. On one occasion he was threatened with a machete, on another, he was nearly stabbed by a man he had arranged to meet on Clapham Common to serve with a non-molestation order: “He’d seemed really friendly on the phone…”

    The turning point in his life came when a friend, who was being abused by her partner, turned to him for support. Connor went with her to the police. She did not want to press criminal charges so the police suggested that she visit a solicitor to take out a civil injunction. “We must have seen 12 solicitors in a morning. We just went from one to the next to the next to the next. Everyone was very eager to help until we sat down to fill in the forms for the legal aid means test,” he says. The woman, who had a small child, did not qualify for public funding. But, Connor says, her financial situation as it appeared on paper did not bear any relation to her financial situation in reality. “She had a part-time job and she and her partner owned their home. Yet she didn’t have any money. Her boyfriend was very controlling and controlled all the money; he kept the chequebooks and didn’t let her have access to the bank account.”

    The injustice of the situation got under Connor’s skin. “I just couldn’t believe that there was no help available to people who did not qualify for public funds but could not afford to pay.

    I just kept feeling that this must be able to be sorted if only someone would address it.”That “someone” turned out to be him.

    In 2002, thanks entirely to Connor’s doggedness, the London Centre for Domestic Violence was formed. It started out with him and a friend, but is now a national organisation, covering 27 counties, and has helped approximately 10,000 victims last year to take out injunctions against their partners.

    NCDV now has nine full-time staff, 12 permanent volunteers and has trained over 5000 law and other students as McKenzie Friends to accompany unrepresented victims into court. We have also trained over 8000 police officers in civil remedies available regarding domestic violence. The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) has branches in London, Guildford and Manchester and is on track to have branches in 16 areas within the next two years.

    NCDV specialises exclusively in domestic violence work and could be characterised as a cross between McDonald’s and Claims Direct. The high degree of specialisation means that its processes are streamlined: clients can be seen quickly and the work is done speedily and cheaply. “Sometimes, we will have one of our trained McKenzie Friends at a court doing 10 applications in one day,” Connor says.

    Clients are not charged for the service. NCDV staff take an initial statement: clients who qualify for legal aid are referred to a local firm; those that don’t get free help from the centre itself. It runs on a shoestring, heavily reliant on volunteers and capping staff salaries at £18,000 a year.

    Steve expects to qualify as a barrister this summer and hopes that having a formal legal qualification will give the centre added clout. “We are already acknowledged as experts and consulted at a high level, so I thought it would be helpful if I could back that up by being able to say I’m a barrister,” he says. He is just about to complete a one-year full-time BVC course at the City Law School (formerly the Inns of Court Law School) and, all being well, should be called to the Bar in July. Although Connor sees his long-term future as a barrister, he says that he has no immediate plans to practise. “I want to get NCDV running on a fully national level. Then I may take a step back and have a career at the Bar.”