Charity case study: “Love Story written by a murderer” tackles domestic violence

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A women’s charity in Peru took a novel approach to highlight the dangers of domestic abuse, recruiting one of the country’s biggest music stars to record a song written by a murderer before for killed his partner.


Case study summary

• Women’s charity in Peru warned women about charming, coercive, behaviour of dangerous men in violent relationships

• Invited top Peruvian singer to craft song based on a genuine ‘apology letter’ from a future killer

• Over 125,000 people shared the campaign socially, and media and social coverage reached 8.2million.

The challenge

Violence against women in Peru is shockingly common. On average, according to the country's minister for women, almost 10 women are murdered every month and an additional 20 survive homicide attempts.

Following incidents of domestic violence, some abusers apologise and make grand romantic gestures intended to gain back their victims' trust. But those apologies, as noted in a Bustle article written by domestic violence victim advocate Teresa Newsome, "can be part of the manipulation cycle... apologies almost never actually mean that the abuse will stop."

Women’s charity Vida Mujer turned to creative agency Circus Grey Peru, to develop a campaign focused around coercive, charming behaviour often used by men to tempt their partners back after leaving.

The brief was to shows women that is dangerous to give a second chance to an abuser. The main objective was to start the conversation about this problem and to explain people that behind beautiful words there´s sometimes ugly intentions.

The solution

Vida Mujer invited Diego Dibos, the most important romantic songwriter of Peru, to participate in this idea.

The agency gave him a genuine ‘apology letter’ written by a man before he killed his partner. In response, Diego created a beautiful romantic song that was a word by word transcription of the letter.

The song was launched as his new single in the radios, concerts but most importantly in his social media account where he have thousands of fans.

The results

When the song became famous and was shared by a lot of people he used all his social media to reveal that all the lyrics were taken from a real love letter from a domestic violence perpetrator to his wife. He added having received the letter, the wife returned to her husband, only to be murdered just six days later.

Over 125,000 people shared the campaign socially, and media and social coverage reached 8.2million. The campaign also won a Cannes Lions Cyber award in 2107.

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