UNICEF would like people to share an unsettling film on social media. It was created by BBDO Germany and director, Jared Knight, with production company, BWGTBLD, and launched on world Children’s Day, November 20. It’s a film about family violence, violence against children and is part of UNICEF’s new #ENDviolence campaign starting in Germany.
Violence against children is still far too often met with silent acceptance, trivialised, or even justified. Like all domestic violence it is often invisible, and because its most frequent form is emotional abuse or neglect, insidiously so. Worldwide, three out of every four children between the ages of two and four are subjected to physical or psychological violence by their parents or other guardians. These young victims often do not have anyone they can turn to or who will take them seriously. The effects on the children can be severe and leave deep scars.
The 90-second campaign film and its three cutdown versions do not show any actual scenes of violence purposely. They focus on the psychological scars. Their message is, violence leaves more than a mark. The scenes show the ways in which physical violence, humiliation and verbal abuse – words such as “loser”, “good-for-nothing” and “idiot” – scar the bodies and minds of children and can continue to hurt children long after the fact. The full version shows how people can continue to suffer the effects of childhood violence even as adults.
“Sadly the true nature of abuse doesn’t always look one way. It takes many forms and more often than not we ignore the lasting effects it can imprint on children,” Knecht stated. “Our goal was to wake people up to the consequences of violence by showing things that are often hidden in plain sight. Instead of showing abuse our focus was on the aftermath of violence. We wanted to keep the children at the centre and take our grim subject matter and present it in a brighter veneer. It shocks you into paying attention and hopefully communicates a lasting impression on viewers to think differently with how they treat their relationships with young children in their lives.”
UNICEF is now appealing to people to share the film using the hashtags, #ENDviolence and #NiemalsGewalt for Germany. Prominent influencers from the fields of entertainment and sport will also be supporting the campaign with their own contributions.