American charity NO MORE has released a new advert highlighting one of the many potential warning signs of domestic violence.
The 49-second clip, which first aired during the Super Bowl 50 on Sunday 7th February, starts off with a lighthearted picture of a cat in a football jersey, sent through iMessage.
‘Millie is PUMPED!!!’ the caption below the image reads.
Jess, the recipient of the text, simply responds ‘Cute’. ‘How’s the party?’.
Her friends then send her a picture of themselves having a great time together watching the football, telling her there’s ‘plenty of game left. R u sure you can’t make it?’
As the responses continue, we realise that not only is Jess not coming to the party, she hasn’t seen her friends for a long time – but it’s not through her own choice.
‘Jake is in one of his moods. I should prob not go out’, she confides.
‘Again?’ her friends say. ‘Are you OK?’
The three dot speech bubble, indicating that someone is typing, appears, but we never see Jess’s reply.
Watch NO MORE’s domestic abuse advert in full
‘There are many signs of domestic violence and sexual assault’, the advert reminds us. ‘Learn how to help. Text NO MORE to 94543’.
While the heartbreaking ad was made by a Stateside charity, the issues in it are global. Domestic violence affects an estimated 1 in 4 women throughout their lifetimes, and it’s important that if you are a victim of domestic violence, or know somebody who you think might be, you’re aware of the services that are available in the UK also.
There are options you can try if you or someone you know needs help to escape a violent situation or relationship, visit nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk or refuge.org.uk for further support and advice.
Domestic violence charity Refuge lists other warning signs of abuse as jealousy, possessiveness, controlling or isolating behaviour, humiliating or insulting, constant criticism, intimidation and more, so it’s important to make sure you can spot the signs.