Ad Council of Rochester launches campaign to change attitudes towards child sexual abuse

Updated: 03/26/2014 5:12 PM
Created: 03/26/2014 11:46 AM WHEC.com

"Be brave for kids and don’t ignore your suspicions.” A new ad campaign launched Wednesday is addressing the fear many adults have when they think a child is being sexually abused. Officials are urging anyone who suspects abuse to reach out, even if they don’t have proof.

The statistics are alarming when it comes to children who have been sexually abused.

Mary Whittier, Executive Director, Bivona Child Advocacy Center, said, “90 % of kids are molested by someone they know love and trust. This is Dad, this is boyfriend, this is aunt. This is soccer coach." 

The Ad Council of Rochester, the Bivona Child Advocacy Center and several other community partners are trying to put an end to child sex abuse. 

The new campaign, “Be Brave for Kids”, is to encourage adults to do something if they think a child is being abused.

Whittier said, “You're going to feel better about it, a kid could potentially be saved and if you're not right, no problem.  That's ok.  Every profession we work with: cops, CPS, Medical, Mental Health, would rather people call and be wrong, than not call and be right.”

The ads, including one featuring News10NBC anchor Scott Kilbury, guide adults to confidential resources including a new website and hotline.

Todd Butler, President and CEO, Ad Council of Rochester, said, "We wanted to communicate to them, don't worry about being wrong, if you suspect then we'll help you sort out whether more action is necessary by calling this confidential hotline."

The hope is that suspecting adults will be the voice for the often voiceless.  

Whittier said, "One in ten children, by the time they turn 18, will suffer some form of sexual abuse.  Yet less than one in ten, will ever disclose that as a child."

Those ads will hit the airwaves on April 1.  

News10NBC is a proud media sponsor of the campaign. Again, News10NBC’s Scott Kilbury is featured in one of the ads. To learn more about about the campaign, click here.

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