No, I’m not talking about a James Bond movie. In Spain an organization called Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR) came up with the idea to create an ad that shows adults and children different messages. Depending on the angle you look at the ad you either see a child’s face with the words “sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it,” or you see the same face with bruises on it and the message becomes, “if somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you.” It has to do with the height of the person looking at the ad. Smaller people, ie children, are able to see the message if they are under a certain height. The idea is that the child can see this message, along with the organizations help line number, even in the presence of their abuser, or aggressor.
I think this is an awesome idea. In reading some of the comments on the video and other articles I’ve seen something that has come up for other readers/viewers is that this ad is exposing the “normal” or “innocent” children to abuse. Disclaimer, I do not have children. But if I did I would have no problem with them seeing this ad. It is important for children to understand that bad things happen, and that bad things can happen to children. I also believe in teaching children the correct and real names for their private parts. Teaching children about abuse, letting them see this ad, is a form of empowering them to have a voice. Even if that child is not being abused one of their friends might be. We need to give children more credit sometimes. They see and notice more than we think they do. I’m not saying that you should go into graphic detail with a child about the types and forms of abuse but there is nothing wrong with teaching a child to recognize it. Same thing with teaching them proper names for their genitalia. First of all the words vagina and penis are not bad words. They are part of our bodies. Teaching that they are bad creates a culture of shame. Second of all if a child is being abused and they do not have the language to express what is happening, or where someone is touching them, it is dangerous. It keeps children in the dark, and their abusers in power.
So, without further ado here is the video. What are your thoughts? Do you think the ad has the potential to do any good?