Linking sexual violence to Valentine? Why not. In the midst of all the romantic, lovey-dovey notes, our hard message jumps out: even on Valentine’s day, a hundred women, men and children in Belgium are raped. Just like any other day.
There are no shocking images to convey this core message. That doesn’t work, and we know that. Instead, we drew on the strong symbolism associated with roses during the Valentine’s Day period. A hundred roses are manually crushed, pulled apart and broken in a striking video. This is a reference to all the victims of sexual violence, of whom there are as many as a hundred every day. The clip was shown in all national cinemas and on social media. The hashtags #100perdag and #100parjour brought out mass outrage against sexual violence on all the social media platforms.
On Valentine’s Day itself, there was a public service announcement on the channels Eén, La Une and La Deux. We placed topical ads in the Dutch and French language editions of Metro. We created an accessible platform, seksueelgeweld.be/violencessexuelles.be, for victims and their families or friends. This platform provides visitors with more information about sexual violence and the procedure to file a report. Finally, we mounted a guerrilla action by night with rose sellers handing out broken roses.