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Child abuse is not always something that is noticeable to the public eye, but this billboard is trying to change that. The ANAR Foundation launched these billboards in the hopes of reaching children who may be experiencing abuse, and providing them with a way to get help. The ANAR Foundation is an organization whose “origins go back to 1970 and, since then, it is dedicated within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to the promotion and defense of the rights of children and adolescents in situations of risk and neglect , through the development of projects both in Spain and in Latin America.” (ANAR Foundation) This advertisement was shown on billboards across Spain in May of 2013.

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The design of this advertisement is quiet and understated, with empty space and gray tones throughout. There’s not a lot of activity in the image, which is useful for allowing the audience to really focus on the seriousness of the message. The audience for the advertisement itself includes adults and children in Spain. However, the message is different for adults and for children. The adults and children will see different things, thanks to the use of a lenticular lens. Lenticular printing is a way of using an interlaced image, made up of at least two images, then using lenticular lenses to bend light passing through so different viewpoints show different images. (Woodford, 2017) The adults will only see the photo on the left, that is saying “Sometimes child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.” But, children below 4’10” will instead see the image on the right, which shows the child with bruising on his face and a cut with swelling on his lip. Children will also see words that translate to “If someone hurts you, call us and we will help you” as well as the phone number for a helpline for children to call if they’re in danger.

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The purpose of this advertisement is to let children know who they can call for help without their aggressors being aware. The purpose of designing this advertisement with a lenticular lens was to make sure the correct audiences would receive the correct message. It would be very difficult to advertise this to children alone, as their aggressors would be unlikely to let them see the advertisement, if they know that it is telling children how to seek help. If the children are unable to see it, the message will not be received and the advertisement would be ineffective.

The image appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos in order to effectively persuade the audience about child abuse. The advertisement is by the ANAR Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization, thus making an ethical appeal by establishing credibility. The appeal to logos, or logic, is not in the image itself but in the design of the advertisement. Using the lenticular printing was logical for deciding which information is visible to different audiences. However, the main appeal of the advertisement is to emotion, or pathos. In the image that adults see, the child is not smiling, and isn’t looking very happy. “Sometimes child abuse is only visible to the child that is suffering” is written in Spanish above the image. The words “maltrato infantil” (child maltreatment), are highlighted to stand out to the audience. This can draw an emotional response from adults by eliciting sympathy or pity. The image that children see creates an even stronger emotional response, by showing bruising and cuts on the child’s face. Children who are being abused may see the injuries and be reminded of the injuries they have on their own bodies. This would likely help them gain the understanding that it’s not normal or acceptable for them to get hurt in the ways they are, and hopefully lead them to seek help by calling the number. However, now that this advertisement has gained more attention and more people see both parts of the image, it draws a larger emotional response from adults and children.

The ANAR Foundation and this advertisement’s locations in Spain are all very important because of their focus on helping bring child maltreatment to an end. According to an article from researchers at the University of the Basque Country, there is a high prevalence rate of child maltreatment in Spain as compared to places such as Sweden, or the United States. Rates for Spain range from 25.3 to 47.7 percent, while Sweden has a rate of 24 percent, and the United States has a prevalence rate of over 13 percent. (Garcia and Ochotorena, 2017) Using these advertisements in Spain is important in reducing the prevalence rates.

These billboards are also important for bringing to light that child abuse is not always visible to others. There are three different types of child abuse, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, and psychological abuse. Sexual abuse is defined by the CDC as “any completed or attempted sexual act, sexual contact with, or exploitation of a child by a caregiver.” The CDC defines physical abuse as “the intentional use of physical force against a child that results in, or had the potential to result in, physical injury,” and mentions that it includes physical acts that don’t leave physical marks on the child. (CDC, 2008) Psychological abuse is defined by the CDC as “intentional caregiver behavior that conveys to a child that he/she is worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or valued only in meeting another’s needs,” and can be continuous or episodic.

I understand that parents may not always realize that they are abusing their children, but I also understand how harmful abuse can be. Simply disciplining or punishing a child for doing something they are not supposed to be doing is not necessarily abuse, but if the child is being hit with the potential to cause physical injury, it may be negatively affecting the child, and it’s inappropriate and harmful. If you were to talk down to your child, calling them names, or threatening them, even if you don’t physically touch them, it may be considered psychological abuse. Any kind of abuse is harmful, but child abuse is especially for children being abused by their caretakers. This is because they are still developing coping mechanisms and an understanding of the world, and the people they expect to go to for love, support, help, and care are the ones that are causing them pain. They might be getting hit daily, but if that’s how it has always been they might think that’s just a normal part of life for everyone. This advertisement and the ANAR Foundation are working to stop this.

Overall this advertisement was a very effective way to bring attention to child abuse as well as to quietly attempt to help children who may be experiencing child abuse. The design of the advertisement allowed us to focus on the message itself. The design also was a rather creative approach in order to send different messages to different audiences. There was an appropriate use of ethos, logos, and pathos in order to persuade viewers of the importance of the message. This advertisement is just one of many advertisements aimed at stopping child abuse.

Works Cited

“ANAR Foundation.” Fundación ANAR | Ayuda a Niños y Adolescentes En Riesgo, ANAR Foundation, http://www.anar.org/. This website contains information about the foundation who created the advertisement. It includes their history, ways to help, and information for if someone needs help. I used this source to gather background information on the organization and to learn more about their current efforts. This source comes from a nonprofit organization and was used to gather information on the organization itself.

García, Sílvia Indias, and Joaquín De Paúl Ochotorena. “Lifetime Victimization among Spanish Adolescents.” Psicothema, Colegio Oficial De Psicólogos Del Principado De Asturias, 20 Apr. 2017, http://www.redalyc.org/html/727/72752795014/. This article discusses the results of a study done by researchers at the Universty of the Basque Country, about the effects of different kinds of victimization on people in Spain. Abuse is one type of victimization that is explained in this article. There are statistics that I used in my rhetorical analysis to explain the importance of advertising this topic. This article comes from faculty at the University of the Basque Country, has several sources cited, and is published.

Leeb RT, Paulozzi L, Melanson C, Simon T, Arias I. Child Maltreatment Surveillance: Uniform Definitions for Public Health and Recommended Data Elements, Version 1.0. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2008. pp. 3-16 https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/ This journal by the CDC creates uniform definitions for things such as child abuse and neglect. It also recommends data elements to use when conducting surveillance or studies surrounding child abuse and neglect. I used this source as a means of defining the different types of child abuse. This is a peer reviewed source published by a government organization.

Woodford, Chris. “How Does Lenticular Printing Work?” Explain That Stuff, 15 Nov. 2017, http://www.explainthatstuff.com/lenticularprinting.html. This website is about what lenticular printing is, and how it works. There are helpful graphics to show how lenticular printing is created. I used this to explain the design of the billboard advertisements. This information was written by a British scientific author.