Nov. 25 marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. But such violence remains far too common, is underreported, and does not always lead to justice.
Women who find themselves in this situation must often find ways to navigate it alone. In 2021, Greece experienced 13 brutal femicides that attracted media attention, many of which are labeled "love crimes."
Chocolate brand Lacta, owned by Mondelez, and Ogilvy Greece launched "Don't Ever Leave Me," an ad designed to explain what love is not.
Directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, the film starts in a romantic way—on a Greek beach. The couple are young and smitten. And the man says things that, in this context, don't raise flags, though they should: "I want you to be mine. Only mine," and "No one will love you like I do."
You can guess how this escalates, but its finale is still a grim thing to watch. "This is not love," the ad tells us later, adding a subtitle to the previously seen title: "Don't Ever Leave Me (because I'll hurt you)."
Living a story of abuse can make a person feel incredibly isolated. And if or when they're finally able to talk about it, their previous reticence can prove prophetic: They may be faced with the question, "Why didn't you just leave?"
"Don't Ever Leave Me" illustrates a chilling fact: Trying to leave is the most dangerous act a woman in this situation can try to make. And even if they succeed, the next 18 months are still the most dangerous period.
The ad—which has been trending on Greek Twitter and was the country's top YouTube video upon launch—concludes with a link to Diotima, a gender rights and equity organization that can help women in Greece identify signs of psychological and physical abuse.