It's a brilliant idea. The Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR) created anti-abuse ads with secret messages just for kids. The giant posters show a photo of a child's face. From an adult-sized person's perspective, the message reads "Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it." But if you're a kid (or the size of a kid), the child's face in the photos is bruised, and the message reads, "If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you," with that number. The signs have a "lenticular" top layer visible only from certain levels.
So the idea is, if a child is with an abusive parent or other dangerous adult, they can learn how to get help without the adult even knowing! I love it. We all know there are children who need help, but feel powerless. This is just one little tool that helps them out. But, just one little thing...
There's a video going around explaining how the signs work. Obviously the organization is trying to raise awareness. And that's awesome. But if you let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, now abusive grown-ups know about those ads, too. What if they spot these signs and steer their kids up another street? Doesn't TELLING US kind of defeat the purpose? Wouldn't it be better to just keep quiet about them, and let some kids see the signs secretly?
And what about the kids whose reading skills are so poor (they're under tremendous stress because they're abused) that they miss the message?
I don't know -- I'm sure the signs will still help a lot of kids. Goodness knows there are loads of abusive adults out there who are in TOTAL denial about how abusive they really are. They're not going to see themselves or their kids in these ads, and they're not the type of people to watch a video like this. And I guess the ads serve a dual purpose of helping kids and raising awareness, though I kind of feel like they're sacrificing one for the other. Anyway, the photo technique is fascinating -- take a look to see how it works.
Do you think the signs will still help kids, even though there's a video about how they work?
Image via GREY SPAIN/Flickr
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