Hands on buzzers: Women’s aid launches new ad in a bid to spotlight signs of coercive control in relationships

By on Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The latest ad from Women’s Aid comes wrapped up in a shiny (albeit brash) game show titled “Spot the Abuse”- complete with guests and presenter. The host (a convincing Stephen Mulhern copy) quizzes his (all female) guests with questions about appropriate behaviour in relationships. The presenter asks each woman different questions including: “Your partner often tells you what to wear and gets moody if you don’t agree. Is this normal?” All three women answer their questions with a definitive “Yes”, only for their host to inform them that the actions in question are all signs of coercive control.

The ad was manufactured by Engine Creative and launched on the 25th November- non-coincidentally the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Despite being made illegal in 2015, coercive control is still discernibly traceable throughout the UK. In fact, in March last year alone 25,000 cases were recorded.

The chief executive of Women’s Aid, Farah Nazeer, commented: “We hope this advert will raise awareness and start conversations about controlling behaviour in relationships.” Indeed, while an unorthodox approach, the ‘game show method ’ will surely trigger women to look introspectively and question the nature of their own relationships, without the need for a shiny show host to act as a mirror.

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