Louise Livesey // 31 December 2007
Today has been the day of visual anti-rape campaign posters for some reason. We don’t tend to do this much in the UK which is a shame. Lets start here with a poster from Germany. The tag-line reads “More than 300,000 children are sexually abused in Germany every year”.
This is a stunning visual which makes illustrates clearly yet with tact what we’re talking about. (Although it does also assume sexual abuse must involve physical contact which isn’t the case – forced exposure to pornography or involvement in creating single-person pornography for example).
The problem of how to inform the public, through a visual medium, about child abuse is a delicate one – the current NSPCC adverts I find too oblique – teddy bears cover their eyes aren’t the reality of sexual abuse.
It avoids portraying the pain and fear in a way which the other NSPCC “case” adverts (for neglect of physical violence) don’t avoid. The NSPCC’s poster campaigns around sexual violence have, to my mind, lacked real power.
The same theme, of childhood sexual violence, is picked up (left) in the campaign from the US with this picture .
The campaign, from 2001, was run in Los Angeles as part of a personal safety campaign which put the emphasis (quite rightly) on those who commit crimes rather than the victims. There are several posters from this campaign here.
In the UK we haven’t had major anti-rape or anti-abuse campaigns – the recent Refuge one was relatively small scale, although the adverts were striking.
More posters from the Los Angeles Campaign include these others:
The only current similar UK campaign I can think of is The Truth Isn’t Sexy campaign. Their images are less striking, perhaps, but are designed for a different medium, whilst the two above are poster campaigns, Truth Isnt Sexy is using beer mats and similar as their creative medium.