A London multimedia company is working on a “relationship violence” awareness campaign targeting university-aged men and women.
Cameron Arksey, managing director of Warpaint Media, is planning to produce a short video and resource kit through his new Break the Cycle brand. A social media campaign is already underway. The Facebook page has over 1,000 likes.
A native of Windsor, Arksey is looking for grassroots support to help shoulder the cost of the production of the video and associated materials. He said the video would be for London, by London.
He is targeting what he sees as a gap in educational material on the subject aimed at the post-secondary age group. He said much of his inspiration came from working with students at Western University as a creative resource in the marketing/recruitment wing.
“I don’t know if there’s more (relationship abuse) in this age group,” he said. “There are fewer studies done on younger age groups. It’s something we need to start looking at. Hopefully it will lead to research in that area.
“Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults,” he added. “I want to fill a gap I see in material. There is not enough directed squarely at teens. There are a lot of messages thrown at them in their developing years, about alcohol, sexuality, etc. So the seeds of relationship violence have been planted in that period in their lives and they’re often not aware of it.”
Arksey has reached out to community resource organizations, including the London Abused Women’s Centre.
Megan Walker is the executive director. She is thrilled Arksey is taking on the project, but had cautious advice for the young videographer.
She is concerned that by targeting “relationship violence,” he may be biting off more than he can chew.
She said that term is problematically broad, and actually describes a whole spectrum of abuse (against elders, children, women). She said each type of abuse calls for a unique approach.
“To take this on and call it relationship abuse is very, very general,” she said. “Relationship violence implies the abuse is dual and that’s not the case. Language is important. In intimate partnerships, women are most at risk of being seriously injured or killed at separation. To focus on women, which I think it is, I would say call it what it is. He could eventually widen the scope to other forms of abuse, but to start with such a huge spectrum would be overwhelming.”
She said her agency would commit to helping in any way possible.
“It is a real learning curve,” she said. “If it becomes too much, there is the potential to get burned out. He just wants to make a difference. He is a really bright, enthusiastic, energetic young man and we want to encourage that.
“I am really impressed with him. It’s just amazing to see a young individual, particularly a young man, take on this issue. It’s a really complex issue and it’s men that need to step up to the plate in ending it.”
View a video describing the project and pledge support through the Indiegogo website: http://igg.me/p/317395/x/2170571.
Visit Break the Cycle on Facebook, follow @break_thecycle on Twitter, or email Arksey: firstname.lastname@example.org.