Don’t ignore it. They can’t.

This advertising campaign highlighted the serious effects of domestic violence on children.


This 2006 campaign used children’s own words – in the form of diaries and letters – to convey the poignant message that they often feel that they have no one to help or protect them.

One execution shows a crumpled note from a child (name has been changed) to Santa, which reads: ‘Dear Santa, this year all I want for Christmas is for Daddy to stop hitting Mummy. I don’t want toys, just for mummy to stop being hurt and crying.’

The end line reads: ‘90% of domestic violence is witnessed by children. Don’t ignore it. They can’t.’

To download the four adverts please click on the links below:

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, says: “Every day at Refuge we support hundreds of children who have experienced domestic violence. For many, coming to a refuge may be the first time that they will have spoken out about domestic violence. With the right understanding and support Refuge can help them overcome the trauma.  I hope that the ‘Don’t ignore it. They can’t’ campaign, which highlights genuine experiences of children, will help people to understand just how many children are seriously affected by domestic violence. Everybody has a responsibility to challenge domestic violence and, in so doing, protect children – today’s children are tomorrow’s future.”

Jade Woodiwiss, 19, who witnessed her mum experience domestic from the age of 5, said: “Refuge’s new adverts definitely reflect the way I used to feel when I was young and my mum was with her violent partner.  We were lucky – my mum had the strength to escape. I’m really proud of her for that.  I hope that everyone takes notice of these new adverts and realises that what Refuge is saying is true: children can’t ignore domestic violence, so neither should you.”

Celebrity supporter, Ruby Wax said: “Refuge’s new advertising campaign shows exactly how alone and frightening it can be growing up with domestic violence.   Everyone must realise that domestic violence is a crime that has far reaching consequences.

Refuge is doing a great job supporting women and children who have experienced domestic violence, but I know they wish they could do more.  I’m urging everyone to stop ignoring this abhorrent issue which affects thousands of children in this country every day.”


Supported by Philip Morris Limited