This Anti-Abuse Ad Has a Message Only Kids Can See
The Spain based Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR) is taking a very public AND private approach to combating child abuse.
Through the use of lenticular images, one ad can display two separate messages: An adult who is taller than 4-foot-5, standing directly in front of the ad, sees a picture of a child with the message, "Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it." And, a child 4-foot-5 or shorter sees the same child but with bruises on his or her face, with the message, "If somebody hurts you, phone us and we'll help you."
As someone who was abused as a child, I am trying to imagine how I would’ve reacted to this message had I seen it at that young an age. And it’s tough. I don’t know. It’s difficult for children who are abused to often even recognize the fact that what is happening to them is abuse. Parents or adults who physically abuse their children often mask this crime with messages of discipline and order, placing blame on the child for the pain that is being inflicted on them. And children often accept that this punishment is their fault. It’s not easy to convince some children that they are being abused, that it’s not their fault, that what the adults are doing to them is wrong, or even that they should tell someone (most kids don’t want to get their parents in trouble – and I wonder if the reason I never told anyone was because I didn’t want to get my father in trouble). But this ability to potentially reach a child in a way that is confidential and can make them aware that abuse is wrong – and, most important, that there is someone out there to help them – is huge.
I am not sure how successful this particular ad will be, with all the attention and press that it is getting. Abusers can be manipulative, and now that the secret about how the sign works is out, it may not be as effective. But now that we know the technology can be used in this manner, maybe there will continue to be more ways to reach a victim of abuse exclusively and directly, even if the one abusing them is standing right by their side.
To learn more about ANAR, or get involved, you can visit their website at http://www.anar.org/.