In March 2012, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), launched Brisons le Silence (Break the Silence), a nationwide social marketing campaign to combat violence against women and girls, including domestic violence, in Cote d’Ivoire . The campaign uses social norms marketing to encourage the reporting of conjugal and partner violence, as well as the support of survivors. The campaign is designed to promote equitable gender norms and positive attitudes toward women and coordinated by the Gender Based Violence Coordinator, Monika Bakayoko-Topolska.
According to social marketing research, as cited by as Monika Bakayoko-Topolska, who oversees the IRC women's programmes in Côte d'Ivoire, the kind of campaign created by the IRC can have a profound effect on attitudes and behaviour related to gender norms and violence against women. Social marketing campaigns use traditional commercial marketing techniques to affect behaviour and attitudes related to social problems.
The audiences for the campaign include men ages 18-35 and housewives of the same age bracket. The messages address both action and social norms for each group:
For the men:
1) Nous sommes une équipe contre la violence. (We are a team against violence.)
2) Protéger les femmes, c’est aussi notre affaire! (Protect women, it is also our business.)
For the women:
1) Brave femme, lève-toi contre les violences! (Brave woman, stand up against violence!)
2) Chez nous, la violence n’a pas sa place! (There is no place for violence in our home!)
Several national artists and celebrities are participating in the campaign, including the Ivoirian soccer star Kolo Habib Touré and his wife, Hip Hop stars Nash and DJ Mix, Reggae star Kajeem, and actresses Akissi Delta and Marie Louise Asseu. Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim leaders are also acting as spokespersons for the campaign.
A launch event at the Palace of Culture in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The event included a drama on the theme of domestic violence, comments from partners, a testimonial from a survivor, and a performance of the original campaign theme song by participating artists.
The campaign includes: radio and TV public service announcements (PSA's); radio scenarios and news stories; Facebook and Twitter messaging; mobile phone messaging; posters; billboards; localised information via information calendars; a free hotline for survivors and assisters; and t-shirts and bracelets.
Gender Based Violence.
Funding from: The World Bank; the Novo Foundation; Moov, a telecommunications company; and Sotra, Abidjan’s municipal bus company.
Email from Virginia A. Williams to The Communication Initiative on January 13 and April 21 2012; and The Blog section of The Huffington Post website of March 27 2012, accessed on April 19 2012.