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These anti-abuse PSAs shock you with what you don’t see

These anti-abuse PSAs shock you with what you don’t see


These videos for DIF Zapopan, a Mexican nonprofit, are hard to watch. Even though they’re equally difficult to see.

Created by Publicis México, they use special effects to reduce the actors to shadowy forms. These apparitions are just visible enough to give the viewer a profound sense of unease that they are seeing an adult interacting inappropriately with a child. A child close within their family.

The PSAs deliver the message that  in Mexico, 80 percent of child sexual abuse cases “are perpetrated by a close relative.” (According to the United States government, the North American statistic fir close family is 30%; 60% are other acquaintances, such as “friends” of the family, babysitters, or neighbours; and only 10% are strangers.)

The point of the campaign is that it can be difficult to recognize, and more importantly to accept, child sexual abuse that is happening within one’s own family. And in this case, I think provoking overwhelmingly negative emotions is the right way to address the issue. To show the horror for what it is, not “stranger danger” but something much closer to home, and to force us into facing the problem.


I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more