A Spanish nonprofit organization created a clever advertising strategy that both provides a safe way for an abused child to call for help as well as highlight the deceptive nature of families that house child abuse.
The ad, using lenticular printing technology, displays different messages when seen at varying angles. When an adult — or anyone taller than four feet and five inches — sees the ad, all they will see is a picture of a forlorn boy with the caption, "Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it."
Anyone shorter than four feet and five inches (or the average child under ten) will look at the same ad and see the same boy but with a bruised cheek and a bleeding lip with the message "If somebody hurts you, phone us and we'll help you" alongside the organization’s number.
Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR) is a child abuse hot line that seeks to help all children walking past their ad, even if they are walking hand-in-hand with their abuser.
In 2011, ASPASI — a Spanish organization that aims to combat child sexual abuse — reported Spain has one of the highest child sexual abuse rates in Europe, with one in four female children and one in seven male children suffering from such exploitation. In the same year, ANAR answered 188,770 phone calls of child abuse cases, 16% more than the year before in 2010.
However, the ad also holds another powerful message — that even if a child looks fine on the outside, there may still be mental abuse or physical abuse in non-visible body parts occurring within their households.
Many child abuse statistics come with a disclaimer conveying the same general theme: thousands of cases go unreported every year. According to ASPASI, as many as 86% of child sexual abuse cases are silenced. In America, researchers estimate that social-service agencies confirm only one in ten cases of child abuse.
This use of lenticular printing is not the first instance of technology aimed specifically for a young audience. In 2008, a mobile ring tone that could only be heard by youngsters and not adults surfaced — it was known as the "Teen Buzz" or the "Mosquito" ring tone. As a person gets older, his or her hearing becomes less sensitive to sounds at higher frequencies. The "Teen Buzz" ring tone was designed at a certain frequency so it would be undetectable to teachers in a classroom.
The ANAR ad is a smart and compassionate strategy, seeking to help isolated and neglected children, as well as bringing attention to the unreported and concealed nature of child abuse situations.