An abuse message only a child can see
It reaches out to abused children, offering them a number
May 9, 2013
To an adult, there’s nothing particularly notable about the poster.
There’s a picture of a somber-looking young boy. Above are the words, “Sometimes child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.”
But a child sees a very different message. He sees the same boy, but the boy he sees has bruises on his face. He has a busted lip and a bruised cheek. He’s clearly been abused.
The child also sees a message intended only for him, not visible to adults. It reads: “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you.” There’s a phone number for a child assistance organization.
How is it that a child sees such a different poster?
Credit technology, what’s called lenticular printing, a process that imprints different images on the same surface depending on what vantage point the sign is viewed from.
Looking at the poster at an adult’s eye level, the passerby sees just the sad-looking little boy.
But a child, being much shorter, looks up at the poster, and he or she sees very different images–the bruised face and the second message with the offer of help and a phone number. The poster was printed to make that second set of images visible to anyone 4 feet, 5 inches and under.
The sign is part of a campaign by the Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR), a Spanish group that provides assistance to abused children.
It’s the work of Grey Spain, which was looking for a way to reach out to kids at risk for abuse without alerting adults they were with to the message, since the adults might be the ones doing the abuse.
The agency is targeting children ages 10 and under with the poster, which went up in April in Spain.
The stunt works for obvious reasons. It reaches out to a narrow demographic, kids, in a unique manner so as not to alert the person who may be abusing them.
In fact, the stunt is so original and so innovative that it’s gone viral over the past few days.
It’s been the subject of hundreds of articles and blog posts, including on Huffington Post, ABC News, MSN and the BBC, and a YouTube video about the stunt has received more than 6 million views.
All the attention has also stirred a small controversy over whether the ad can actually be effective now that its secret is out. But ANAR seems satisfied that the child abuse prevention message is spreading through all the attention.
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