This Child Abuse Awareness Spot Is Haunting

“A picture is worth a thousand words” may be a cliché, but this powerful Danish video about the effects of child abuse proves that it’s a cliché for a reason. Created by students at the The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark, this brief commercial heartbreakingly illustrates how living in conflict-filled, abusive households wears on children, and just how damaging “putting on a brave face” can be. The video was created to promote Bryd Tavsheden ("Break the Silence"), an Danish NGO that offers advice and counseling to children in abusive situations and works to educate the public about domestic violence.

The animated commercial is only twenty seconds long, and yet it packs a major punch. The premise of the short narrative is simple: It starts with a boy who has cracks across his face, damage, presumably, from the fighting going on in his household. He puts on a smooth, shiny mask to cover the cracks, and goes about his day. But when he finally gets home and takes off the mask, the face underneath is more cracked and battered than ever, and on the verge of crumbling completely. It’s an emotional reminder that appearances don’t always reveal what may be happening behind closed doors, and that many children suffer in silence.

On its website, Break the Silence describes its mission, highlighting the fact that, for many kids, even simply acknowledging that abuse is happening is a hugely important step. The NGO's objectives are:

Actively helping children and young people who are victims of physical or psychological violence from family or from a relationship, to recognize and acknowledge their situation, seek help and act upon it.

Images: YouTube (4)