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The Canadian Women’s Foundation Launches New Signal for Help PSA

May 13, 2020

PSA conveys how those at risk can ask for help over a video call without leaving a digital trace.

TORONTO; May 13, 2020 -- Today, the Canadian Women’s Foundation has released a new PSA video aimed at continuing to raise awareness of Signal for Help. Signal for Help is a single-handed gesture designed to provide individuals who are confined to their homes with their abusers a method to discreetly communicate over a video call that they need help and would like someone to check in safely with them. The initiative was launched in Canada on April 14th through a social, digital, and influencer campaign.

In this new PSA, a woman in her home is seen asking her friend for her mother’s “banana bread recipe” over a video call. During the conversation, she subtly makes a hand gesture - the Signal for Help - to signify to her friend that she is experiencing violence at home and needs help. The PSA was created for the Canadian Women’s Foundation by Toronto-based creative agency, Juniper Park\TBWA, and produced remotely by Bolt Content, their in-house production arm.

The PSA is launching this week online, and on TV on multiple network stations including CBC and CTV, over the next four weeks.

Since last month’s launch, Signal for Help has gained national and international support and recognition, garnering over 21 million impressions from social and media.

Signal for Help gained additional traction internationally when the Women’s Funding Network launched it in late April in the US, with Salesforce and Facebook as partners. Spanish NGO Fundación Mujeres launched the initiative in Spain earlier this week. Conversations are also ongoing to launch Signal for Help in other countries around the world, including Australia.

Notable figures from all walks of life have shared the Signal for Help on their social channels, including: acclaimed author Margaret Atwood, actresses Amybeth McNulty and Amanda Seyfried, Canadian hockey star Cassie Campbell, and Federal Minister Maryam Monsef.

“Public health directives on home isolation compound the danger for those living in abusive situations, and abusers may monitor their devices to ensure that what is going on inside the home is not shared,” said Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women's Foundation. “This new reality requires new methods of communication to help those facing gender-based violence. We know that internet and video calling are not readily accessible to some. Shelters and support services are doing everything they can to respond to the surge in violence. Signal for Help seeks to contribute to these efforts.”

In addition, dozens of respected organizations and educational institutions from across Canada and the US have backed the initiative including the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.

“We’re grateful to be helping spread awareness of this important issue and hope our input helps make a positive difference now, and in the future,” says Graham Lang, Chief Creative Officer at Juniper Park\TBWA.

To learn more about what you can do if you see someone use the signal please, or to download and share the signal, visit: canadianwomen.org/signal-for-help in Canada or womensfundingnetwork.org/signalforhelp in the US.

Watch the PSA here.

About Canadian Women’s Foundation

The Canadian Women’s Foundation is a national leader in the movement for gender equality in Canada. Through funding, research, advocacy, and knowledge sharing, the Foundation works to achieve systemic change that includes all women. By supporting community programs, the Foundation empowers women and girls to move themselves out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership. Launched in 1991 to address a critical need for philanthropy focused on women, the Canadian Women’s Foundation is one of the largest women’s foundations in the world. With the support of donors, the Foundation has raised more than $100 million and funded over 1,950 programs across the country. These programs focus on addressing the root causes of the most critical issues and helping women and girls who face the greatest barriers. The Canadian Women’s Foundation aims to be inclusive of diverse people across gender and sexuality spectrums. We focus our efforts on supporting those who face the most barriers and have least access to relevant services. This includes people who identify as women, girls, trans, genderqueer, non-binary, and 2SLGBTQI+.

About Juniper Park\TBWA

Juniper Park\TBWA (juniperparktbwa.com) is The Disruption® Company: the cultural engine for 21st century business. A global, award-winning agency located in Toronto, Juniper Park\TBWA uses Disruption® methodologies to develop business-changing ideas for brands. The 160+ team of world-class creators and thinkers serves clients across North America, including CIBC, Nissan, PepsiCo, GoDaddy, GSK Consumer Healthcare, Intuit, among others. It is part of TBWA Worldwide (tbwa.com), named as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company, and to Ad Age’s Agency A-List in both 2019 and 2020. Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, or like us on Facebook for the latest updates from the Park.