PSA reminds Quebecers that control also constitutes domestic violence

The Quebec Government has launched a new awareness campaign using a simple everyday act to demonstrate that not all domestic violence is physical. Created by Lg2, the “Escape the Control” campaign launched on Monday and is running across online video, radio and social.

The dialogue-free spot begins in a seemingly benign manner, showing a woman taking selfies as she’s out for a run, at the grocery store, at the laundromat, etc.

However, the smile fades from her face after the final picture, and the perspective changes to her male partner, who is showing typing an all-caps message on his phone: “Where the hell are you??” The woman responds with another picture showing she’s in front of the school, as a super featuring the toll-free number for the SOS Violence Conjugale (SOS Domestic Violence) hotline appears on screen.


Lg2 also this week released its first-ever awareness campaign about the long-term trauma and harm caused by childhood sexual assault. Running across TV and web, the French-language campaign—which translates as “Sexual assault on a child has a major impact”—painfully outlines the lifelong impact being sexually abused can have on a child.

Two 30-second spots rely on a common family tradition of marking childhood growth and milestones on a door frame.

The first begins with the usual events: first day of school at five-and-a-half, first lost tooth at six, before documenting the first case of sexual abuse at age eight, and the subsequent trauma that results—from the loss of self-confidence at age eight-and-a-half, to nightmares at 11, anorexia at 12 and dropping out of school at 14-and-a-half.

A second spot builds from first steps at one-and-a-half, which is followed by a long gap until “forced oral sex” at 13 and the subsequent results: becoming a runaway at 14-and-a-half, followed by depression at 15-and-a-half.

“This sensitive subject had to be communicated in a caring manner: we all have a role to play in prevention and support by listening and acting,” said Lg2. “The messages on television, as well as in banners and web content, aim to present different situations that are sexual assaults, and then demonstrate the consequences over time through a line of growth. All in all, there are no small assaults—no matter what the act, the impacts are very real.”

Chris Powell