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Opening eyes to child abuse

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 03 April 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:950
  1. Harvey Marcovitch, Horton General Hospital.
  1. Oxford

    Charities must be going through a hard time as they battle to hold their own against the all consuming UK national lottery. One answer must be to take the risk of pumping cash into a major publicity campaign to divert the fickle public purse in the desired direction. The charity most paediatricians put at the top of their Christmas list, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, has done just that with its FULL STOP campaign. Its aim is to raise £250m ($400m)—the biggest ever appeal by a UK charity.

    The first the UK public learned of FULL STOP was a series of uncompromising TV commercials. The message was that we hide from child abuse because facing up to it is too painful. No children are seen but there is constant repetition of the image of covered eyes: the teddy bear wallpaper which we see while a mother threatens to smash her crying baby's face against the cot, shows the animal's paws across its face; as a man creepily invites an unseen child—perhaps his son—to “sit over here,” we see a poster …

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