Child Abuse Prevention Service launches national campaign to help stop child abuse before it starts

Screen shot 2011-11-04 at 8.49.21 PM.jpgChild Abuse Prevention Service (CAPS) has launched a national campaign encouraging all Australian families to help stop child abuse before it starts.

The prevention campaign, which highlights that the effects of child abuse can be carried around for a lifetime, will be showcased in a new TV commercial calling on families to take preventative action to keep children safe. The TVC was produced by Room3 which is a Melbourne based video production and creative agency dedicated to the not-for-profit sector.

"When it comes to child abuse, there is no question - prevention is better than the cure," says CAPS Chair, Renee Carter. "Aside from the tragic and immediate impact of any form of abuse on a child, the lasting effects can include alcohol abuse or mental illness in adult life, and even suicide."

The impacts of child abuse also extend to whole families and communities as relationships break down, and society manages the myriad of social issues (such as drug use and domestic violence) that can evolve out of the trauma of experiencing childhood abuse.

For the financial year ending June 2010 there were 46,187 substantiated cases of child abuse in Australia, and 35,895 living in out of home care. "These statistics remind us that there isn't a single community out there that can escape the impact of child abuse," says CAPS Manager, Karen Craigie.

Whilst there is no easy solution to child abuse, effective prevention and early intervention can make a real difference. As a part of its national campaign, CAPS has released a digital 'Prevention Pack' to support families in developing vital protective factors and understanding how they can keep children safe. The free pack, which includes a range of resources for parents, carers and children, can be downloaded directly from

Erin Johnson, a partner at Room3, developed the creative concept and directed the shoot and post production phases. Says Johnson: "This was a fantastic opportunity for Room3 to stand with CAPS to play a roll in tackling the horrific issue of child abuse and its projects like these that energise and inspire us. We find a lot of fulfilment in engaging a client and brief such as this."


Hmmm said:

Pretty liberal use of the word 'prevention' don't you think. Awareness might be more fitting.

Won't change a thing said:

I found the press release more likely to make an impact than the ad.

Anne Miles said:

I think the best part about this is a new way of seeing what child abuse is. We often think of it just as physical violence, or sexual abuse - but this campaign nicely deals with emotional abuse which can even be more damaging long term. In this case I feel it does slip into a preventative mode because, let's hope, people will take responsibilities for their own negative talk/put downs when they hear it played out like that. That's the kind of thing that is difficult to explain other than to play it with the whole tone of voice thing going on.

It may be subtle to many but those that understand the impact of such treatment will understand the nuances. I'd have like to see this played out more strongly.

Abuse comes in all shapes and sizes. Even under the guise of being fun, being passionately in love, and even a jolly tone of voice or playfulness can be a mask for real abuse. Many say 'he/she didn't mean it' as an excuse to let inappropriate behaviour continue. So, let's hope the campaign makes an impact.

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