In a world overloaded with visual and audio content, I was surprised to find it was the abiding power of words that took my breath away yesterday morning while flicking through my news feed on the early train to London.

Read from top to bottom, the 10-line poem featured in Refuge’s latest advert told of a happy and familiar new year’s eve scene.  But read in reverse from the bottom to top, the same words painted a vivid and shocking picture of domestic abuse so powerful it gave me goose bumps.

Its effectiveness reminded me that, in our world of communication where the overriding objective is to change outcomes or behaviour, simplicity is key.  It’s all too easy to get carried away with the latest digital formats or feel the need for creative imagery when actually, words are the strongest weapon in our armory, painting pictures more vivid than any camera.

So bravo Refuge for having the courage to rely on the power of words to cut through the clamour and tell your story in a season that is anything but festive for far too many.  I hope that in this instance more than any other, those words really do raise awareness of the critical need to change unacceptable behaviours for good.


Verity Barr headshot

Verity Barr is a senior consultant at Camargue