Primary prevention research for the ‘Are you safe at home?’ campaign

Safe and Equal were looking for the future direction of the ‘Are you safe at home?’ campaign, to empower people in the wider community to recognise and respond to family violence. Portable was engaged to identify opportunities to raise awareness and engage with the community, explore how digital channels and marketing activations can support these activities and conceptualise different campaign options.

Content Warning

This case study references family violence, victim survivors and impacts on the community. It does not specifically mention any individual experiences or events of family violence. However, some people might find this case study difficult to read. If you would like support or more information visit

Despite the focus and investment at both a state and federal level since the 2015 Royal Commission, family violence remains a significant issue in Australia. The problem has been made all the more complex because of the COVID 19 pandemic. Given the significant failures that remain in the system, family violence is an area that Portable has made an ongoing commitment to seek out opportunities to make positive change.  

Safe and Equal is the peak body for specialist family violence services for women and children in Victoria.  ‘Building momentum for change’ is one of the core objectives of Safe and Equal. The major areas of focus to deliver on this objective are:

  • Partnering with others to help build community-wide understanding of the nature, impacts and drivers of family violence and violence against women. 
  • Working to create environments that enable people to intervene appropriately to address violence and to support victim-survivors. 
  • Working to generate commitment and meaningful action across institutions, settings and systems to effectively respond to and prevent family violence and violence against women.

The ‘Are you safe at home?’ campaign is a key primary prevention tool to encourage the community to access reliable content and resources to keep families safe.

Design challenge

The ‘Are you safe at home?’ campaign was developed in 2020 as a response to an increased risk of family violence during the COVID 19 lockdown restrictions put in place in Victoria. The campaign focused on providing information and resources to raise awareness of family violence and where to get help for people who may be experiencing abuse. It targeted information and resources to friends and family who may know someone experiencing family violence.

In 2021, Safe and Equal identified the opportunity to extend the campaign to expand public awareness and further develop resources and messaging to support the wider Victorian community. Portable was engaged to develop ideas for the expanded ‘Are you safe at home?’ campaign by engaging with people in the community using co-design.


We worked with a group of community representatives from across Victoria in 2 co-design workshops to explore depth of understanding about family violence, taking action, and design campaign ideas together.

Exploration activities focused particularly on:

  • Identifying common misconceptions about family violence and challenges and stigma in having conversations about family violence.
  • Identifying the most effective messaging for helping community members to recognise family violence, feel confident to respond to family violence, and understand how to help victim survivors increase safety and access support.
  • Understanding the most effective approaches to behavioural change and community awareness raising campaigns and resources.

To better understand how these broader dynamics could shape a campaign we focused on some key research questions:

  • What methods do people use to search for information or advice?
  • How do current campaigns and information sources meet people’s needs?
  • What is the most effective messaging to encourage community members to recognise family violence, feel confident to respond to family violence, and understand how to help victim survivors increase safety and access support?
  • What campaign and resource approaches, such as online resources, social media messaging and live events, most effectively support engagement and provide impact in the community?

Co-design workshops

During the virtual co-design sessions we used various methods and activities to answer these questions. Given the sensitive nature of this topic and differing views and experiences among participants, anonymous individual reflections were used as a starting point for group discussions. The discussions were then extended into making activities where co-design participants came together in groups to imagine and design campaign ideas that would be impactful. 

Initial campaign concepts

The insights uncovered during the co-design activities created the foundation for 3 campaign ideas for the expanded ‘Are you safe at home?’ campaign. Each of the campaign ideas expressed a different audience need based on how implicit or explicit communication messages should be to have an impact and prompt engagement. 

The campaign ideas included recommendations on the language and imagery that would be most impactful. In line with the language recommendations a new tagline ‘not quite right’ was used to explore the new campaign ideas. The channels and production methods that would be most appropriate and potential event and sponsorship opportunities that could further engage with the different audiences were also identified. 

Logo and campaign concept designs

“Not quite right” represents a window into a space where family violence happens. The logo was translated in different variations to reflect the reality and the complexity of this social problem. This variety in shape and style represents how there are different forms of domestic violence, there are different shapes of spaces, and there are different ways we can take actions.


The outcome of this project was a detailed set of insights that can support public awareness raising, further resource development. As well as 3 new campaign ideas for an expanded ‘Are you safe at home?’ campaign which Safe and Equal will build on in 2022 when shaping next steps for the campaign and future awareness raising activities.

To date, Safe and Equal’s initiatives have focused on victim survivors, the specialist family violence sector, government, and other partners so there has been limited research engagements with the broader Victorian community.

The insights that were gained through this co-design work provide a window into the needs of the broader community and help grow knowledge to deliver on the organisation goals of building community-wide understanding of family violence and how to take action. 

Project team

Kerri James, Senior Client partner

Tom Morris, Senior Producer

Jude Walter, Senior Design strategist

Cristiano Fantasia, Senior Experience designer

Joanne Osborne-Taylor, Lead Design Strategist

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