The cinema is a place where, thanks to the certification system, children are shielded from violence and abuse. Unfortunately, for the 160,000 children currently living in households in England where domestic abuse takes place, exposure to fear and violence is their daily reality.

Today, we are incredibly proud to launch a new cinema advert for Women’s Aid. Working in collaboration with the British Board of Film Classification, the advert is created specifically for cinema and highlights the realities for children growing up in abusive households.

Inspired by real experiences of domestic abuse, the advert – written and directed by Creative Director David Dearlove – was conceived with the express intention of gaining an 18 certificate. Then with the BBFC’s help, the violent scenes were removed, making the film suitable for children to watch.

The resulting highly censored, highly disjointed advert is to be played in cinemas nationwide, leaving the audience to imagine what it must be like to be a child and witness such things, unedited. The film’s production was carried out by Riff Raff.

Working with Digital Cinema Media, the campaign will run in cinemas across England from 7th September 2018 until the beginning of October. The campaign will also be supported online by the hashtag #160kchildren.

Chris Ringsell, Creative Director at WCRS said: “It was important for us to expand on Women’s Aid’s full mission. Highlighting the effect domestic abuse has on children is vital for awareness and hopefully bringing about change. We are grateful for the insights and knowledge kindly offered up by survivors and the charity, it has made the film all the more powerful and poignant.”

 Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said: “With this campaign we wanted to shine a light on the hidden victims of domestic abuse: children. Children not only witness domestic abuse, they experience it. Thousands of children are living in homes filled with fear, frightened of what will happen next. By teaming up with BBFC and WCRS, we hope to make people think about the impact of domestic abuse on children. Every child deserves support to live free from fear and abuse. With your help, we can support the thousands of women and their children who are experiencing domestic abuse today.”

 Daisy Kneer, child survivor and campaigner, said: “Giving a voice to young survivors and witnesses of domestic abuse is so important. As a child, I witnessed my dad turn from a loving father to a monster at the drop of a hat. My mum was able to use her experience to help women and children who have experienced abuse in her role as the CEO of Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid. She has inspired me to tell my story to help others try to understand the wider effect of domestic abuse.”


Full credits:

Client: Women’s Aid

Agency: WCRS

Executive Creative Director: Billy Faithfull

Creative Directors: Christopher Ringsell

Creatives: David Dearlove

Planner: Adele Aitchison

Agency Producer: Joseph Pawsey

Asst Producer: Lois Laxton

Account Handling: Will Lever, Rosa Stanley, Henry Davies

Media Agency: DCM

Production Company: Riff Raff

Producer: Matthew Fone, Natalie Arnett and Kate Brady

Director: David Dearlove

Editor: Joe Guest

Sound Design: Phil Bolland

Post-Production: Alasdair Patrick