The intense sounds and images are hard to digest, and the real thing is even harder to live with. The effects of abuse experienced in childhood carry on well into adulthood and leave scars that span a lifetime.
In an effort to prevent and raise awareness of violence against children, UNICEF launched an #ENDviolence campaign by animating the tattoos on David Beckham’s body in a video to depict the sounds and images of the physical, emotional, and sexual violence children face every single day.
The 1-minute video shows the tattoos (acquired to symbolize the happy or important occasions in David Beckham’s life) being transformed to represent the haunting reality millions of children are subjected to right under our noses.
If you have air in your lungs, you know someone that has experienced childhood violence. And if you’ve experienced it yourself, you are well aware that the tattoos are symbolic of the fact that violence against children marks them forever, long after the physical scars have healed.
Some of the scenarios in the video include a crying infant being approached by an adult in a dark room, crying babies being screamed at and struck by adults, a crying woman, a student being ridiculed by a teacher and assaulted by peers, and a young girl being taken against her will in public by a person she met online.
The statistics on child violence are staggering. According to the UNICEF website:
- Every five minutes 1 child is killed by violence.
- About 1 in 10 girls under 20 years have suffered sexual violence.
- 1 in 3 students between the ages of 13 and 15 worldwide are regularly bullied.
The site also includes testimonies from adults and children that talk about what they experienced and how it affected them.
UNICEF aims to provide hope to children and encourage action by speaking up for every child to #ENDviolence against children on a global scale. They also have programs that teach children how to recognize dangerous situations in their environment and equip them to stand up for themselves.
But many children don’t have the confidence to speak up or have the resources to know how to find a safe place, so it’s still up to us to step up and send the message for every child that violence against children is not okay.
There is nothing worse than growing up in an environment where abuse is known and allowed to continue. It takes years to recover and find one’s self worth after being abused. Some are able to stop the abuse cycle as adults, but others go on to continue it.
The sounds and images in this video are difficult to watch, but it’s even harder to live with as a child. Silence is not an option. Ending violence against children is everybody’s business.