International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

In Times Square, Nasdaq and Reuters screens go orange with anti-violence messages

Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UN Women and the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women turn Times Square orange on 25 November 2014. Photo: UN Women/Jennifer S. Altman

“1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence. Stop. Speak out. Seek help. Imagine a brighter future. #ORANGEURHOOD — End violence against women.”

The messages flash across a glowing orange backdrop on the giant Reuters and NASDAQ screens on the south side of New York’s famous Times Square.

Orange is the colour designated by the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, meant to symbolize a brighter future for all women — one free of violence. Lit in support of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to raise awareness of the occasion, the seven-story-tall NASDAQ and 22-story-tall Reuters video towers featured orange UNiTE and UN Women anti-violence messages four times an hour throughout the day.

In Times Square, Reuters building screens flashed orange anti-violence messages on 25 November 2014. Photo: UN Women/Jennifer S. Altman

Visiting New York from Israel, Shir G. said she thinks having the messages in such a visible tourist centre is a good strategy, as raising awareness about violence is “all about education.”

The messages in Times Square are part of a series of events to “Orange YOUR Neighbourhood” in support of the campaign and to commemorate the international day. Last night, the iconic Empire State Building and UN Headquarters were both set aglow in orange light – the first time ever that they have been simultaneously lit for a cause.

The NASDAQ and Reuters digital displays are located in one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions. The tourist hotspot is frequented by nearly 1.5 million visitors and residents who pass through the area each day, according to the official website of Times Square.

Times Square visitor Neil Orr from Canada, who has two daughters and worked as a police officer for 30 years, said “I’ve seen the impact of violence against women and I realize that’s only the beginning of a vicious cycle.”

His wife Heather echoed the sentiment, adding that such messages in Times Square are “a good way to raise attention and certainly with the amount of people that are here, it’s going to reach a lot of people. ... It makes people think. People need to be reminded all the time,” she said.