National Centre for Domestic Violence

Wunderman Thompson Exposes 'Society’s Biggest Cover Up'

Hard-hitting work supports the National Centre for Domestic Violence

By creative salon

Wunderman Thompson has created giant, partially covered-up billboard sites, partly hidden films, and blocked social media channels to focus on the excuses that people give to deflect attention from the physical effects of abuse.

"The garage door fell on me", "It happened at my Thai boxing class", or "I fell over" are used as examples of the the kinds of cover up comments that mean 80 per cent of domestic abuse incidents are never reported.

Wunderman Thompson’s campaign also promotes a number to text for victims who are ready to reveal the truth and might need help with securing a free protective injunction.

Sharon Bryan, head of partnerships at NCDV, said: “What we are exposing is the sheer scale of unreported abuse in England and Wales. It’s tragic that so many people experiencing domestic abuse don’t feel they can speak out – it means the true scale of the issue is hidden.

“We at the NCDV want victims and survivors to know that if they are ready to disclose the abuse they are experiencing we can support them with free protective injunctions.

“Domestic abuse overwhelmingly concerns male perpetrators abusing women but ruins many men’s lives too. That’s why we are launching this campaign in London at the start of the UN’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.”

Jo Wallace, creative director at Wunderman Thompson, added: “I was shocked and moved to action when I discovered how much abuse goes on without ever being reported. ‘The Big Cover Up’ campaign idea dramatically visualises how the full picture of domestic abuse is literally 80 per cent greater than we’re aware of. It’s ultimately a clever use of media to deliver a hard-hitting message.”

According to government figures, fewer than one fifth of women experiencing domestic abuse have reported it to the police (the latest official Crime Survey of England and Wales for the year ending 2018 puts the figure at just 18per cent). Among male victims even fewer reported it to the police (in 2021 Mankind put this figure at just 14.7 per cent).

Sharon Bryan, a survivor of domestic abuse, added: “There are all sorts of reasons for women and men not coming forward ranging from fear, denial, shame, threats anxiety over finances to love.

“Even though 7,000 people contact NCDV every month for help in getting civil Court Orders for protection against their abusers we know we only ever see a small part of the full problem.

“This is the latest in a long line of impactful campaigns from Wunderman Thompson. This brilliant campaign, donated for free, is now being taken up by our official Supporters and their followers.

“The message is that we must, as a society, bring the true extent of domestic abuse to light before we can have any hope of eliminating it.

“NCDV urges victims, survivors, their families and friends together with public bodies, businesses and members of the public to recognise domestic abuse for what it is - a crime -and call it out wherever they encounter it.

“Together with statutory and voluntary services, women’s groups, third sector organisations and many others, NCDV’s long-term goal is to make domestic abuse socially unacceptable.”


Creative Director: Jo Wallace

Head of Art: Guy Sexty

Business Director: Sally Emerton

Creative Producer: Verity de courcy Norman

Designers: Bryan Riddle, Chris Hutton, Rob Joyner, Jacqui Stecher

Motion Designer: Yoshi Okubo

Talent: Eliza Miklasevica, San Sharma, Sandra Hiralal

Photographer: Neil Raja

Make Up Artist: Kate O’Shea


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