NewStart is a counselling service that came to Breakhouse with perhaps one of the most complex briefs we’ve ever worked on. As an organization that works with individuals who use violence in their relationships – in other words, domestic abuse – they needed a campaign that would reach out to men who use abuse and begin the process of changing their behaviour.
It was a completely eye opening experience for us; the societal understanding of abusive scenarios is almost exclusively framed as a black and white argument, rather than the nuanced reality of human relationships. Often, those who use violence or abusive behaviour in their relationships feel trapped by their own actions. New Start offers a way for them to learn how to change, to take responsibility for their words and actions, and to become “a better man”.
Because it is both a sensitive and socially complex issue, we needed to find a way to reach out to those who use abusive behaviour that didn’t alienate nor diminish in any way the impact on victims. Not an easy job.
The solution was a poster series that took real statements from individuals undergoing the counselling process and used them to highlight both the problem of domestic violence and the struggles of the men who use abuse in reconciling their own behaviour.
The posters have been launched nationally with support from the Bridges Institute, local police forces and women’s organizations.