Papua New Guinea passed a Family Protection Act in 2013 to make family and sexual violence a punishable crime. Yet, implementation of the Act is difficult with limited capacity of the criminal justice system to respond to reported crimes.
By 2018, businesses across the the country’s capital Port Moresby had come to see the deep impact family and sexual violence had in their workplaces. While first and foremost employees suffered the direct impact on their lives; the corporate culture, productivity, and ultimately the bottom line were impacted, too.
To support their employees and their businesses, a private sector coalition emerged in Port Moresby. They came together with key Government and community stakeholders with the objective to improve and coordinate the services available for survivors of family and sexual violence and to prevent further abuse.
As a public-private partnership they proposed to establish a coordinated platform to support people experiencing family and sexual violence with easy access quality legal, health, counselling and safe house services. In addition, they committed to promoting private sector leadership to drive positive change for survivors including by shifting attitudes and behavioral norms towards family and sexual violence.
The public-private partnership committed their ideas to paper in a 50-page proposal and secured start-up funding from the private sector and the Australian Government. To launch, all they needed was a name, brand, narrative, website, animation, collateral, launch and communications strategy.
Helicopter Creative was approached to create a brand and the required collateral and assets for this life-saving initiative. With our strong experience working in PNG for over a decade, we were well-placed to build a meaningful brand, shape a compassionate identity, and design a culturally-sensitive house style for the organisation.
We strongly felt our starting point had to be ethnographic research. We traveled to PNG to start the process of getting a deep understanding of the communities and people we are designing for, generating ideas together, evaluation options, and listening to their feedback.
Our team visited safe houses and case management centres, and spoke to survivors, perpetrators, councilors, businesses, and government — all affected by family and sexual violence.
From the start it was apparent that the best way to quickly mobilise resources to fund the establishment of the support platform would require framing the solution as a business proposition. Corporates were all ears when it came to losing money due to high levels of absenteeism, so we developed the tagline ‘Better Lives, Better Business’ to get corporate financial support for the platform to launch as well as ensure ongoing financial sustainability.
PNG has a culture of impunity and lacks effective protective services. The public-private- partnership realised that while they can offer world-class support and treatment services, when survivors go home they go back into the cycle of violence.
The real challenge was therefore not so much to establish a support platform, but to brand and style the organisation in a way that would empower people to take action and change behaviour rather than conjuring feelings of shame, disconnection, and rejection.
Many organisations and campaigns dedicated to stop family and sexual violence resort to powerful graphic imagery of the aftermath of violence, aiming to shock people into action. In PNG, displaying graphic imagery has the opposite effect; inaction, shame and complacency are common responses.
The challenge for Helicopter Creative was to craft a brand that resonates equally with corporates, Government Departments, development agencies, community and faith-based organisations, and the general public, to drive behaviour change, stop the cycle of violence, and make the proposed support platform a success. Acceptance of the solution also required robust communication tools and collateral to empower individuals to start changing attitudes and behaviour.
The challenge for Helicopter Creative was to craft a brand that resonates equally with corporates, Government Departments, development agencies, community and faith-based organisations, and the general public, to drive behaviour change, stop the cycle of violence, and make the proposed support platform a success.
Acceptance of the solution also required robust communication tools and collateral to empower individuals to start changing attitudes and behaviour.
We started with the name of the organisation. We choose to use the local Tok Pisin language to drive connection with survivors and perpetrators. The name selected for the organisation is ‘Bel isi PNG’ literally meaning ‘Peaceful PNG’ and colloquially meaning ‘full belly’ which is an important pleasant and warm feeling for Papua New Guineans.
The house style we created is rooted in Melanesian culture and seen considered culturally acceptable across PNG’s 800 different tribal groups. We used the traditional Bilum bag for the logo as a symbol of care and family; newborns are often carried by their mothers in bilums.
With this style we designed a multi-purpose modular ‘card-pack’ to carefully explain the intricacies and complexities around family and sexual violence and where to seek help. The card-pack was designed to have multiple uses, the individual cards could easily be updated, and a selection of cards used separately for specific purposes. The card-pack was a true value for money solution, it provided a broad tool to provide employees in companies, but card where also individually placed on a large Board to create an informative statement piece that is easily approachable; breaking the taboo of speaking about family and sexual violence.
The organisation exceeded their corporate partnership target in the first year and are still steadily growing and expanding their support platform services. Bel isi PNG is now self-sustaining and seen as one of the key responses to family and sexual violence in Port Moresby.