Tánaiste launches new campaign against domestic violence

The campaign includes television advertisements directed by Oscar winning Irish filmmaker, Ben Cleary

The Tánaiste has launched a major new awareness campaign to tackle domestic and sexual violence in Ireland.

The “What would you do?” campaign will see TV and radio ads as well as a billboard campaign and targeted postings on social media.

The campaign will cost €950,000 over the next two years and aims to deliver the message that there are no bystanders when it comes to domestic violence - only witnesses.

It will emphasise that more than 300,000 people in Ireland have experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives.

The television advertisements were directed by Oscar winning Irish Filmmaker, Ben Cleary and are due to be broadcast during Friday's Late Late Show:

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald said the campaign “provides an opportunity for each of us to start a conversation about what we would do if we came across situations such as those in the TV and radio ads.”

She said the campaign is all about bringing domestic violence out in the open:

“This campaign calls on us as relatives, friends, neighbours, bystanders and witnesses to collectively say that domestic violence is not right and it must stop,” she said.

“It offers hope and support to victims of such violence and it empowers us as witnesses [...] to find out what we can do to help stop domestic violence and to support people who are caught up in this most devastating of human experiences,” she said.

One of the key actions of the government’s Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, the campaign recognises that both men and women can find themselves victim to domestic violence.

It recommends that bystanders and witnesses to a domestic violence incident only get involved where it is safe and legal to do so.

If the situation is already violent or looks like it is escalating quickly, witnesses are asked to contact gardaí.

Minister Fitzgerald said she plans to publish the new Domestic Violence Bill “shortly” and confirmed it would aim to improve access to barring orders and provide for greater supports for victims throughout the court process.

“We must endeavour to educate our society young and old, men and women and especially our children that all people deserve respect and dignity and should not be subject to violence of any kind,” she said.

Further information on the campaign is available at whatwouldyoudo.ie.