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White Ribbon Canada’s “Day After Day” addresses rise of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PSA by Bensimon Byrne and Oscar-nominated director Hubert Davis speaks to the role men have in preventing gender-based violence.
Advocacy group White Ribbon today released Day After Day, a public service announcement by Oscar-nominated director Hubert Davis (Untitled Films) that speaks directly to men who are using, or at risk of using, gender-based violence as a response to the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The four-minute film follows the story of a family in lockdown experiencing a troubling pattern of domestic abuse. Told from the separate perspectives of two partners, the PSA uses the same set of words to tell two very different stories of isolation: one of a man, trapped in negative ways of thinking, with complicated emotions he never really learned to articulate; and a woman who is trapped inside her home with a man becoming increasingly volatile and unrecognizable to her.
The PSA reflects the truth of the COVID-19 pandemic: Between March and October 2020, as households adjusted to stay-at-home orders across the country, calls to police about domestic disputes increased 8.2 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. Helplines witnessed an alarming increase almost immediately: In British Columbia, The Battered Women’s Support Services saw a 400 per cent increase in April-May 2020; and in Ontario, The Assaulted Women’s Helpline reported a 400 per cent increase in April 2020. Research has shown that social isolation, loss of employment and reduced income are all factors known to increase the risk of domestic violence.
As the world’s largest movement of men and boys advocating an end to all forms of gender-based violence, including violence against women and girls, White Ribbon hopes the PSA will show men they are not alone in the stress of the pandemic, that support is available, and there are services that can help.
“The story we tell in the PSA is, unfortunately, an accurate portrayal of the ways some men are using violence against their partner, family members or within the community, in reaction to the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Humberto Carolo, Executive Director, White Ribbon. “The rise in reports of domestic abuse since lockdowns began is staggering. It was critical we speak directly to men who are using violence, and to all men, to remind them they are not alone, that they must change their behaviour, and that we can help guide them towards healthier masculinities.”
“For too many women, stay-at-home orders during the pandemic have meant being trapped inside with abusive partners. By mirroring the dialogue of the two partners, we show how the unique stresses of the pandemic are causing some men to become abusive – but how that abuse is infinitely more damaging for those who experience it,” said filmmaker Hubert Davis, who directed the PSA.
In 2019, Davis worked with White Ribbon on “Boys Don’t Cry“, an award-winning PSA that offered a wrenching look at the roots of toxic masculinity and the ways parents and educators can help to encourage healthy masculinities.
Title: Day After Day
Client: White Ribbon Canada
Executive Director: Humberto Carolo
Senior Program Manager: Louise Moyer
Agency: Bensimon Byrne/Narrative/OneMethod
Chief Creative Officer: Joseph Bonnici
Creative Directors: Debbie Chan, David Mueller
Art Director: Debbie Chan
Writers: John Pavacic, David Mueller
Head of Production: Michelle Pilling
Narrative VP/Account Lead: Andre Lee
Bensimon Byrne Business Lead: Marli Bennett
French Supervision: Ariane France Smith
Social Media Director: Kristina Kosa
Social Media Planner: Sarah Santarossa
Senior Media Planner: Sarah Lowden
Director of XD: Kurt Krumme
Narrative (Agency PR)
Account Director: Andrea J. Lee
Senior Account Managers: Sheri Clish, Vanessa Kissoon
Associate Account Manager: Katie Glover
Account Coordinator: Lindsey Hutchins
Junior Account Coordinators: Christine Boakye-Manu, Lindsey Hutchins
Production Company: Untitled Films
Executive Producer: Tom Evelyn
Director: Hubert Davis
Director of Photography: Kiel Alexander Milligan
Line Producer: Ian Fingland
Casting: Jigsaw Casting
Editorial Company: Rooster Post
Editor: Michelle Czukar
Assistant Editor: Sarah Carlisle
Producer: Sam McLaren
Music and Sound: Berkeley Inc.
Audio Director: Jared Kuemper
Executive Producer: Tyna Maerzke
Post Production Online: Fort York VFX
Producer: Tess Kennedy
Flame Artist: Luke White
Colourist: Conor Fisher