Domestic violence in South Korea doubled in recent years, leading the government to declare it one of the country’s biggest social problems. Shockingly, over 90% of incidents go unreported, and only 1% of perpetrators are prosecuted. A victims’ decision to come forward is heavily influenced by initial responses from police and prevention organizations, many of which see domestic violence as a private family matter. Perceptions and behavior needed urgent change. Koreans had to understand domestic violence is a crime.
The idea was to get people to ‘LOOK AGAIN’, urging police, response groups, and the public to be more aware of domestic violence and act on it.
Our PR-led initiative used the humble clothesline as a creative device to engage people from all parts of the community hanging ‘LOOK AGAIN’ T-shirt designs on clotheslines across the country to show their support. We amplified the message by taking it from offline-to-online, with supporters uploading selfies of their designs to social media, with a new website, education programs, celebrities, local community activation, and public-private partnerships, all extending the program into a movement.
The campaign earned widespread media coverage and conversations supporting the call to end domestic violence for good. Police pledged their support, dedicating additional resources, and the number of officers no longer considering domestic violence a ‘private matter’ rose more than 63%. In less than a year, and on a modest budget, reporting rates for domestic violence more than doubled, from 10 to 22.5%, signaling real attitudinal and behavioral change in action.