Shoppers in Toronto's Fashion District might at first have wondered what the festive tableau that appeared recently in a shop window was promoting. But once they took a closer look at the family pictured round their dinner table, they might well have gasped in horror.
Although dressed for Christmas and seated with their wine glasses in a cozy room, the mannequins aren't smiling -- and suddenly, the man raises a hand as if to strike the woman, while their children look on in misery.
The Window Project is a stunt by agency FCB Toronto for The Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses (OAITH), a provincial coalition founded by women's shelter advocates, as well as Yellow Brick House, an OAITH member shelter. The aim is to highlight domestic violence over the holiday season, when, according to the charity, domestic violence against women can surge by as much as 30%.
There's an interactive element to the window too: viewers are encouraged to stop the violence by making an SMS donation to OAITH. This action immediately stops the abuse in the scene for 60 seconds, re-setting a countdown clock.