strong stuff

The spot opens with a shot of rippling water. A girl’s feet are shown running on a dock. She waves. Then, about to dive off the dock, she pauses.

“You have this wild girl child. Strong. Funny,” the voiceover says. “And then something happens. She stops being funny. She’s not strong.”

The teen, in a bathing suit and braided pigtails, is shown underwater, swimming in a lake.

“Her boyfriend tells her what to do, puts her down, maybe hurts her,” the voiceover continues.

The PSA, created by Shepardson, Stern + Kaminsky in New York for the Liz Claiborne Foundation, goes on to explain that one in five high school girls is abused physically or sexually by a boyfriend.

The nonprofit foundation, which is dedicated to preventing domestic violence, also put out a handbook to help parents talk with their teenagers about rela tionship violence.

As for the imagery used in the PSA, “We thought a child being underwater was a perfect metaphor for not being able to commu nicate with [her],” said Evelyn Neill, agency copywriter and creative director.

The spot, which broke last month on PBS, was directed by Peter Sillen of Washington Square Films.