When you’re young, starry-eyed, and perceiving the world through a lens gifted to you by parents or guardians, it is difficult to know when your boundaries have been crossed and/or who to seek out during circumstances of abuse.
Thankfully, slipping messages of hope to children undergoing abuse is becoming a bit easier, thanks to an innovative advertising method presently being used in Spain.
An estimated 300 million children worldwide are subjected to violence, exploitation, and abuse each year, reports Compassion International. 40 million of these unfortunate children are under the age of 15 and more-than-often have no one to turn to or confide in while undergoing abuse. When children do speak up about their suffering, they’re often met with doubt and disbelief, as well as a reprimand from the abuser (if and when they find out).
Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk (ANAR) Foundation in Spain hopes to change that and aspires to reduce these horrifying statistics by meeting children at their level – literally.
The Foundation has created an innovative ad campaign which speaks directly to children in at-risk situations. ANAR already offers a confidential help line phone number for abused kids, but has come up against the same roadblock most help lines face: getting the message across to kids when they’re in the presence of an adult who abuses them.
The ingenious solution is a technologically advanced ad that features a secret message only kids can see. ANAR created an ad using lenticular printing technology which allows two different images to be shown on the same poster. What you see when you look at the ad depends on your height. For example, an adult looking at the ad will see a basic child abuse prevention message with an unharmed child on it. Children who view the ad, however, will see a bruised child along with the message, “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you” plus the number 116 111.
Inhabitots reports that “The (ANAR) Foundation‘s message is delivered to a viewer based on his or her height. Because ANAR can estimate the height of the average adult vs. the height of the average child, the outdoor lenticular technology shows the two different ads to taller and shorter individuals. Of course, this sort of visual won’t work as it should at all times, for example, with taller kids, but overall, this is the outside-of-the-box type thinking and design we need more of in the world if we want to help stop child abusers.”
The foundation’s line presently serves children and adolescents in Spain: it’s 17 regions, plus the autonomous cities of Cueta and Melilla.
No doubt, similar is needed in countries like the United States, where 3.3 million child abuse cases are reported each year. Believe it or not, America actually has the worst record of child abuse of any industrialized nation – with five children killed every day by abuse.
If you’re in the United States, first learn what the typical signs of an abused child are and get educated on child abuse facts and myths. If you don’t know the signs, you can’t help. Then refer kids to the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453), or make the call yourself. This 100% anonymous and confidential national hotline serves the United States, its territories, and Canada and is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors. If you’re feeling out of control as a parent and are worried that you may harm your child, crisis counselors at 1-800-4-A-CHILD can help you as well.
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