Two new films exploring real-life experiences of violence and exploitation in lockdown and how young people can access support have been unveiled as part of a powerful new campaign.
The videos, released across social media platforms this week, mark the second phase of the #Stopviolence campaign – a project funded by Nottinghamshire’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping to educate young people and their parents and carers on the devastating consequences of serious violence.
The first, Lockdown Monologues, features a collection of frank and open dialogues with young people, filmed by actors during lockdown, sharing their real- life experiences of domestic violence, family violence and criminal exploitation.
The second, Choose Life After Lockdown, takes the form of a music video parody and shares a real-life story to encourage young people to use lockdown as an opportunity to think about the influences and choices they make and to seek support or guidance at the campaign’s HashtagNG website.
Since launching in September 2020, the #Stopviolence campaign has reached more than 142,000 people through a series of gripping videos on violence and gang culture across Youtube, Instagram and Facebook.
Developed by marketing firm Powell and Barns Group Ltd, the campaign has also positively engaged with 17,000 people (people who have watched, liked, shared and followed a link), showing the films are having a powerful impact on the target audience.
Dave Wakelin, Director of the VRU, said: “The #Stopviolence campaign has really struck a chord with young people and their families and we are delighted to have already reached more than 140,000 people.
“The aim of the campaign is to empower young viewers to make their own decisions about violence based on real life testimonies and experiences and talking to young people in the language they understand – through the eyes of their peers.
“Lockdown Monologues continues the themes explored in previous films and reassures young people affected by violence in lockdown that they are not alone and help is available when they are ready.”
Paddy Tipping added: “This campaign lifts the lid on violent culture and helps to explain some of the pressures influencing young people’s decision to carry weapons including county lines and fear.
“I would like to praise the ingenuity of the production team for ensuring these important messages go out despite the challenges of Covid-19. The lockdown has been hard on young people for all sorts of reasons, and those who are vulnerable to violence or exploitation have faced increased risk of harm. It’s vital these young people and their parents understand help is available if they need it.”
Campaign director Marceline Powell, from the Powell and Barns Group, added: “We are delighted to launch the second phase of #Stopviolence and build on the fantastic success of campaign so far.
“Despite the pandemic, we were determined to go ahead and ensure the powerful voices of young people were heard. As a result, we took everything online and hosted a number of development and research workshops while production sessions took place over Zoom. All filming was undertaken by young people themselves at home on their mobile devices.
“We are really proud of the final results, which is testament to the professionalism and creativity of the young team. Lockdown has created many additional risks and it is vitally important young people know how to access help.”
Lockdown Monologues features a collection of real life stories, told by young actors and performers from Bilborough College in Nottingham.
Material for the production was amassed during a series of virtual workshops with young people from Nottinghamshire to ensure the subjects covered were a true reflection of young people’s experiences in lockdown.
The film explores young people’s feelings of isolation and deteriorating mental health during lockdown and how violence or fear of violence is impacting on their safety and wellbeing.
Young people involved in the consultation workshops as well as those who were part of the production team or acted in the film were paid for their contribution in recognition of the huge part they are playing in educating young people at risk of violence.
In Choose Life After Lockdown, a young person’s story of gang involvement is retold through a music track.
All participants filmed themselves at home on mobile devices using the aid of a ‘green’ screen.
Note to editors:
For media enquiries on the campaign, contact Marceline Powell (Powell and Barns Group) E: email@example.com T: 0203 774 1262 M: 07473 694983
For press and media enquiries related to Nottinghamshire PCC and VRU, contact Sallie Blair. E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 07702 541401
PCC’s website: https://www.nottinghamshire.pcc.police.uk
Notts VRU: https://www.nottsvru.co.uk/
Facebook Page - @nottscommunitysolutions
Campaign Web portal: https://www.HashtagNG.co.uk