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Integrated agency Social has helped Greater Manchester based charity Press Red develop and launch a new campaign #BreaktheSilence to empower and educate men to take a stand on the issue of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

A series of impactful new social media video shorts are urging men to break the silence and take a stand if they see abuse, harassment or violence against women and girls.

The social media shorts show scenarios which will be all too familiar for many women and girls – being harassed on the bus on the way home, a man not taking no for an answer in the pub and turning to violence and a male colleague acting inappropriately while other co-workers stay silent.

The three videos depict incidents of abuse based on the real-life experiences of survivors. In each video, a male bystander intervenes in the situation to help the victim when a friend is abusive. The third scenario highlights how people often keep quiet as “they don’t want to get involved” or see it as “not my problem”.

#BreaktheSilence is aiming to educate, empower and equip men who want to help in these situations but don’t know where to start. This will enable men to go from being passionate about ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) to taking tangible steps towards a world where women are safe.

The campaign launched on Monday, November 22 in the lead up to the UN Women International 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence on November 25 and runs until Monday 6 December.

The shorts are being promoted across social media and in the media and will be complemented through links with partner organisations and by a unique new course in intervention training developed with the University of Exeter and endorsed by Public Health England.

Press Red is a charity educating, equipping and empowering on the issues of violence against women and girls. Since it was founded in 2016 it has educated more than 3,000 people about violence and abuse.

Social has partnered with video production company Reels in Motion who were brought together by Lily Newman, Managing Director of Morgan James Consulting who is on the Press Red Board of Trustees.

Lily explained: “I have been fortunate enough to work with Social and Reels in Motion for many years as a number. They have exactly the strategic and creative expertise we needed, and I’m thrilled to work with them on this project for Press Red. Our objective was to develop a campaign to raise awareness on the topic of bystander intervention based around video content which will grab the attention and make an impact on the viewer.”

Becki Ord, Associate Director and Head of PR at Social, an integrated communications agency with its head office in Manchester added: “To support this project was an absolute must for Social. We have worked with the team on strategic campaign planning, social media content and media relations. As an agency we provide a unique blend of strategic insight and imaginative delivery to help organisations find their voice and connect with their target audiences and it has been a privilege to be able to utilise what we do to support the work of Press Red.”

#BreaktheSilence has been a pro bono campaign for Social’s Manchester and Creative teams.

Some stats on abuse against women in the UK

  • Two women a week are killed by a partner or ex-partner Office for National Statistics(2019) Homicide in England and Wales: year ending March 2018 
  • One in five women have experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16 (MoJ, Home Office, ONS, 2013)
  • Only 7% of reported rapes are being prosecuted in England and Wales. In 2018/2019, there were approximately 58,000 rape offences recorded by the police. (CPS VAWG Report, 2018-2018)
  • Covid-19 does not cause domestic abuse, only abusers are responsible for their actions. However, the pandemic does threaten to escalate abuse and close down routes to safety for women to escape. (Women’s Aid, 2020)
  • From January to March 2019 in England 1,990 women and girls attended a healthcare provider in England and FGM was identified or a procedure related to FGM was undertaken.
  • Stats for women and girls where FGM was identified or a procedure related to FGM was undertaken in the period of January 2019 to March 2019 is 1,990. 1,015 newly recorded women and girls by the NHS. (NHS Digital, Female Genital Mutilation January-March 2019)

Press Red in action:

  • Informed 3,000 + people about violence and abuse against women and girls
  • Equipped 60+ influential leaders to tackle abuse against women and girls
  • Empowered 200+ people on the ground among some of the country’s most vulnerable women and girls


Image courtesy of Press Red.