NI: New ‘Cachez’ poster campaign confronts complacency on domestic violence in Northern Ireland

Amnesty International has launched a high-profile poster campaign to tackle complacency surrounding domestic violence in Northern Ireland.

The innovative campaign uses images of bruised and battered Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in a series of posters displayed on billboards around Northern Ireland, supposedly advertising a new range of make-up for “bruising relationships”.

The Amnesty campaign is being sponsored by trade unions UNISON and NIPSA, which are also distributing thousands of notice-board size versions of the posters for display in workplaces around Northern Ireland.

The make-up, called ‘Cachez’, is not a real product and the public awareness-raising posters are themselves branded with Amnesty International’s campaign slogan, ‘Problem? What problem?’, a reference to worryingly high levels of acceptance of domestic violence here.

An ICM survey in 2003, for example, showed that almost one third (30%) of men believed that domestic violence is acceptable in some circumstances, that one in five men would not call the police even when they knew someone was being mistreated by their partner, and that more people (74%) would report a person for kicking or mistreating their dog than for kicking or mistreating their partner (53%).

The new posters begin appearing at prominent poster sites around Northern Ireland from Monday 24 April.

Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland programme director Patrick Corrigan said:

“Research shows that an all-too common reaction to the issue of domestic violence is to ask: ‘Problem? What problem?’

“Our posters aim to confront complacency surrounding domestic violence in a powerful new way by portraying a disturbing world where such violence has been entirely ‘normalised’.

“We are saying: let’s wake up to the epidemic of domestic violence in this country and really press for a concerted government strategy that addresses all aspects of violence against all Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights at all levels.”

The PSNI deal with more than 20,000 domestic violence incidents every year with an average of five cases ending in murder. Between 2004 and 2005 there were an extra 4,000 domestic incidents – an increase of 24% year on year.

Patricia McKeown, Regional Secretary of UNISON, said:

“UNISON is proud to support this high-profile campaign by Amnesty International. This initiative can help bring the subject of domestic violence out of the shadows and into the work-place, reaching out to Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in need of support as well communicating a zero tolerance approach to the wider public.”

John Corey, General Secretary of NIPSA, said:

“Domestic violence lies at the root of many of our social problems. It is something that touches us all as it could be happening to your sister, mother, friend or work colleague. As a community we all have a duty and responsibility to challenge domestic violence – that is why NIPSA is backing this campaign.”

The poster drive is part of Amnesty International’s worldwide ‘Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’ campaign. The human rights organisation is working closely with Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s organisations like Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Aid and the Rape Crisis Centre to help combat violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Northern Ireland.

Further information on the campaign: www.amnesty.org.uk/ni

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