Hard-hitting campaign 'Shelved' was created by Invisible Man and directed by famed filmmaker Ellen Kuras for Joyful Heart Foundation
Every 98 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. One of the biggest barriers to justice for survivors is decades worth of untested rape kits. A brutal new PSA says that the untested rape kit backlog has the same effect as putting the victims themselves on the shelf.
In the aftermath of a sexual assault, a victim who choses to undergo an exhaustive and invasive forensic evidence collection examination—often referred to as a rape kit—expects the kit will be tested and the evidence used to prosecute the attacker. Victims and the public alike assume those kits are tested; when in fact there is a backlog of hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits, sitting on shelves in warehouses for months, years, even decades while perpetrators remain free to commit other sexual assaults.
The national campaign, “Shelved,” was developed by new agency Invisible Man, founded by former Y&R creative Rachel Howald. It was created for Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation in partnership with Viacom Velocity. The PSA seeks to draw awareness to the rape kit backlog to encourage legislative reforms to improve the handling of rape kits, to eliminate the backlog, and to ensure it never happens again.
In the haunting spot, a forklift carries a woman, the personification of her rape kit, past other long-shelved victims of every age, race and gender as she describes the details of her assailant. Her voice is broken but hopeful as she says “All those details plus the DNA, is enough evidence for you to catch him, right?...right?”
Prior to founding Invisible Man, Howald’s career included Chief Creative Officer of Team BAC, a WPP company and Executive Creative Director/EVP at mcgarrybowen. She was one of the youngest people ever named to Crains Top 40 Under 40.
Shelved was directed by famed filmmaker and cinematographer, Ellen Kuras, who is best known for her work on the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and recent directing work on Ozark. In an industry where fewer than 7% of directors are women, Kuras is an unprecedented three-time winner at Sundance for Best Dramatic Cinematography and her documentary feature film ‘The Betrayal’ was awarded an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for direction.
Joyful Heart Foundation
Founder and President: Mariska Hargitay
Managing Director: Sarah Haacke Byrd
Vice President, External Affairs: Lisa Winjum
Invisible Man (in partnership with Viacom Velocity)
Founder- Rachel Howald
Executive Producer - Lisa Goore
Art Director - Rachel Howald
Copywriter - Rachel Howald
Executive Producer - Niels Schuurmans
Producer - Tony Calandra
Production Company - The Corner Shop
Director - Ellen Kuras
Production Company Executive Producer - Anna Hashmi