During the pandemic, the lockdowns drove people indoors, but this wasn’t a safe place for many people as they were trapped with their abusers, unable to escape. UN Women data showed an increase in calls to domestic violence helplines in many countries, so we wanted to shine a light on how unsafe home was for some women with the emergence of the ‘Shadow Pandemic’.
A lockdown truth that remained in the shadows until we threw light on it to bring out the Hidden Truth
- VIDYA - Integrated development for youth and adults
Every newscast, messages from friends, and calls signed off with ‘stay home, stay safe’, but for some, home wasn’t a safe place. Research unearthed horrifying Domestic Abuse figures as a fallout of the pandemic so we put both truths together to come up with the Hidden Truth.
We not only drew attention to the fact that home was not a safe place for some with a moving narrative, we also created a dedicated Vidya Whatsapp helpline, which was a safer way for a woman to reach out for help when people were socially distant during the lockdown.
It is a misconception that only women from the lower social and economic strata suffer from Domestic Abuse. The narrative highlighted the fact that no matter what section of society or walk of life the women came from, they were faced with the same sense of helplessness, locked down in the house with their abusers, with no way of escape.
The never-before nature of the pandemic and the lockdown demanded an immediate solution: the Vidya Whatsapp helpline. It was designed to address the issue of safety and confidentiality during the lockdown and even after, when stay at home, work from home and social distancing continued to make the solution relevant. The impact was achieved on a local and national scale, the way it was designed. The film set out to reach, and reach out to women with a message of empathy and safety to let them know their situation was not lost in the pandemic. The Helpline received more than 9600 calls because it was a safe way to reach out for help during the pandemic while trapped at home with their abusers.
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