Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) has launched a national advertising campaign aimed at highlighting the devastating long-term impacts of child abuse on well over 2 million adult survivors and a further 8 million plus Australian community members.
The advertising series is the first national television, print and radio campaign to address the topic of adults surviving child abuse. Intentionally provocative, the emotionally-charged advertisements include a wedding speech in which the Father of the Bride jokes about sexually abusing his daughter, a birthday party where a daughter reminisces about her 80 year old mother’s emotional abuse, and an award night acceptance speech at which a Rugby player refers to his father as “the basher”.
In one of four print ads, a young man wears a t-shirt which reads: “My uncle raped me when I was 8 and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” Whilst the scenes convey a satirical theme of jocularity, the tagline at the end of advertisements conveys the sober message: “If only it was this easy to get over child abuse.”
ASCA Chair, Dr Cathy Kezelman said: “This campaign is designed to show that the long-term impacts of child abuse are deeply serious and survivors urgently need our understanding, help and support.”
“Almost one in two Australians is impacted in some way by abuse, yet few people are prepared to discuss its legacy. People assume adults can fix their own problems but with abuse it’s not that simple. Shame and stigma keep survivors isolated and stop them from speaking up and seeking the help they need. ASCA sees this campaign as the start of a national conversation amongst governments and the broader community. We want to let people know there is help available and that every Australian can and should do what they can to support survivors,” Dr Kezelman said.
ASCA is one of few organisations helping adults surviving child abuse throughout Australia, an issue which currently has an economic impact of more than $10 billion annually, and yet it currently receives no ongoing government funding.
“It is well documented that all forms of abuse and neglect can have profound long-term mental health, physical and behavioural effects,” said Dr Kezelman. “There is a multitude of statistics related to survivors’ issues: high rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, suicide and self-mutilation, poor educational and work outcomes, welfare dependency, and relationship breakdowns.”
“The reality is that many survivors struggle day-to-day simply to get to first base. Yet there is help and there are programs which work. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that all Australian adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse will be able to access the help they need to find health and wellbeing as well as meaningful engagement in their communities. But we cannot do it alone. We need government and community support,” said Dr Kezelman.
Media agency OMD and sister creative agencies Whybin TBWA Tequila developed the groundbreaking campaign for ASCA as a pro-bono initiative to raise awareness of issues confronting adult survivors of child abuse.
For more information visit the website www.asca.org.au