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    NCDV Wins Best Campaign of 2020

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    NCDV Wins Best Campaign of 2020


    After a week of voting across four rounds, NCDV’s ‘Abusers Always Work From Home‘ has won Marketing Week’s Best Campaign of 2020.

    Developed by Wunderman Thompson UK, the message contrasts the novelty of working from home with the stark fact that, for abusers, the home has always been the space where abusers operate.

    YouTube video

    This campaign was a proactive piece of work, created in just three weeks. With no budget we relied on goodwill and so it was essential that the idea was incredibly powerful, not only to ensure cut through but to ensure production companies, editors and the like would be inspired to help us make it for free. A great many people were moved by the idea and wanted to help us ensure this message reached as many people as possible. BAFTA winning actress, Vicky McClure, was more than happy to record the voice over for the film, directed by Geej Ower. Particularly relevant because Vicky played a woman trapped in a controlling, manipulative relationship in Channel 4’s I Am… Nicola, (2019). Media owners such as JC Decaux, Blow Up Media (through Kinetic) and Clear Channel readily donated (or charged a nominal fee) for thousands of poster sites nationwide – on the basis of the strength of the idea and message. Stylist magazine featured the film in an important piece about domestic abuse and the lockdown. BBC broadcaster, Emma Barnett, organically tweeted about how this ‘advert stops you in your tracks’ and the film was David Reviews ‘Pick Of The Day’.

    The film was viewed 750,000 times in a matter of weeks. A host of individual celebrities shared the film on to their followers such as Normal People’s star Daisy Edgar Jones, Josh O’Connor, Genevieve Gaunt, Royce Pierreson, and Shelley King (who plays a woman in an abusive relationship in Coronation Street). Rachel Riley referenced the importance of the campaign in a newspaper interview where she spoke about a close friend of hers who is a survivor of domestic abuse.

    Calls for help to the NCDV increased by 25% during this campaign.

    Mark Groves, CEO NCDV said: “This idea makes my hairs stand up! What is more important is the contribution this campaign is making towards our mission: to make domestic violence and abuse socially unacceptable. We have seen incredible numbers watching the video, the posters have been spotted all over the country and commented on by celebrities which helps to fuel awareness. I cannot put a value on the success of this whole campaign, utterly tremendous and so it continues!!”


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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.”