A disturbing U.K. cinema ad for domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid deliberately edits out the most violent moments to make a hard-hitting point.
The film, by WCRS, is preceded by a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) certificate of 12A, meaning it comes with a parental advisory for under 12s. We then witness some scenes between a man and a woman in a suburban home; he’s clearly being violent to her but we don’t get to see the actual abuse.
On-screen text then explains: “To watch this unedited you must be over 18.” In the next frame, as we see a young boy sitting in the next room, it continues “or one of over 160,000 children living with domestic violence.”
The ad was written and directed by WCRS creative director David Dearlove, with production by Riff Raff Films. According to the agency, it 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 campaign is running in cinemas until the beginning of October and will also be supported online with a social media version accompanied by the hashtag #160kchildren.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, says in a statement: “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."