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Toronto grocers’ stocking bruised fruit — for a cause

The partnership with Interval House provides information for abused women in one of the few safe spaces available to them

Two Toronto grocery stores have partnered with Interval House, Canada’s longest-running centre committed to providing services for abused women and children, on an innovative safety awareness campaign called “Bruised Fruit.”

The campaign consists of displays at The Big Carrot and Unboxed Market that appear to consist of bruised and overripe apples. Upon closer inspection, however, each piece of fruit features a sticker that reveals a fact pertaining to domestic abuse and contact information for Interval House’s 24/7 crisis hotline. The displays will be in market until next month.

Intimate partner violence has increased by as much as 30% during the pandemic, as women find themselves trapped at home with an abusive partner, according to stats from Interval House.

“It’s the perfect storm,” says Paula Del Cid, manager of shelter services and outreach at Interval House. “Women are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than ever, and it’s also harder than ever for them to reach out for help. The bruised apples are a way to get them the information they need, secretly and safely.”

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Abused women often find themselves under constant surveillance by their abuser, making it nearly impossible to access information about support services via traditional sources such as the internet or phone. Grocery stores are typically one of the few places they can go without their abuser looking over their shoulder.

The “Bruised Fruit” campaign was developed by Toronto agency Union, which also created an earlier program called “The Way to Live,” which gives the appearance of a lifestyle website with articles like “The must-get bag,” “purse essentials for everyday life,” and “4 signs your dry skin needs help.”

However, a simple push of a button transformed the screen into a series of informational tips including how to pack a getaway bag when fleeing an abusive relationship, and four signs you’re being abused and need help.

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