Australian child protection agency Child Wise has launched a national campaign highlighting the human, social and financial costs of child sexual abuse. “Wise Up” is based around the real life story of a family whose lives were destroyed by sexual abuse. A television commercial is backed up with a web site, an educational booklet for parents, online messages, and community webinars run through Kidspot.
Christine and Anthony Foster shared their experience with Child Wise in order to help children and families. Two of their three daughters were repeatedly sexually abused as primary school children by a parish priest. As a result of the abuse, the Fosters lost one daughter to suicide in 2008, while the other requires care 24/7 due to head injuries suffered in an alcohol related accident. Child Wise has made Christine’s book available online.
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Bernadette McMenamin, CEO, Child Wise, says, “The Fosters tell a tragic and very moving story because they are an average, middle class family who believed that they were doing their best to protect their children and bring them up in a ‘safe’ environment.
“They did not understand the ‘indicators’ of child sexual abuse, and their family and lives are destroyed because of this abuse – an abuse that they did not know was happening. Their harrowing story will bring home to many the message that child sexual abuse can happen to the most normal of families, and that it ‘can’ happen to them. We want to encourage them to know the signs and help put an end to this epidemic.”
The Wise Up campaign was created at Melbourne-based agency Venus Advertising by creative director Bec Brideson, client managers Lucy Howarth and Rachael Allen, account director Sharon Zeev Poole, account manager Rebecca Mortimer, web developer Dylan Truscio and designer Steve Wood.
Filming was shot by director Jon Webb via Gods & Monsters with producer Nik Round.
The PR campaign was led by Agent99 Public Relations, Sydney.