At Jumbla, we love working on light-heartened videos, but that doesn’t mean we don’t use our creativity to help around serious issues.
Recently, we were approached by the organisation Child Wise. Founded in 1991, Child Wise works to build awareness, deliver education and provide the tools to empower people and communities so they can prevent child abuse and exploitation.
As part of its important work, it wanted to make a six-minute animation that would be watched by primary school children, aged between five and 11. The video would explain to children that it’s OK to come forward and tell a trusted adult if they’ve been abused.
A common misconception among victims of child abuse is that they think they’ll get in trouble if they speak about. Sadly, it’s believed two out of three children who have been sexually abused don’t come forward. Some aren’t even aware that what’s happening to them is abuse.
Using animation for greater understanding
“It was an interesting project, because it’s such a sensitive issue. Animation really enabled us to put that difficult conversation into a video that’s quite understandable for children," said Jumbla Executive Producer, Charlotte Parsons.
“We really saw the importance of a video like this. In some ways it’s perceived as a taboo topic, teachers often struggle to talk about with kids. A video like this takes the responsibility and pressure away from teachers.”
“For Jumbla, I think it shows we can use our skills to the betterment of society. It’s a conversation that’s incredibly important to have – especially because the rate of child sexual abuse is a lot higher than people think.”
Shockingly, according to figures from the Australian Government Institute of Family Studies, approximately one in four girls and one in seven boys are sexually abused in Australia.
An appealing aesthetic for kids
Child Wise provided us with a script and one illustration as a reference. We then developed the style, with the intention of making it appealing to kids. We used four music tracks to create varied moods throughout the video.
Key to this brief was delivering the message in an engaging and non-threatening way. Child Wise saw added merit in using animation, as the depicted abuse scenario wouldn’t be too confronting or scary.
The video is to be shown to children during the Child Wise’s 'Wise Child Protective Behaviours Program' sessions and also shown to kids by their school teachers. It also sits on the Child Wise website and on YouTube, so anyone can access it.
Child Wise says if children learn to take the right steps, it enables early intervention and stops the abuse from accelerating: “Arming children with knowledge and skills to help keep themselves safe is essential.”
“A recent Royal Commission report found that protective behaviour programs appear to be effective at increasing young children’s ability to identify unsafe situations and touching – and increase their behavioural skills around what to do, who to tell and what to report,” it says.
An important project
For us at Jumbla, it’s a project and a cause we are grateful to have been able to contribute to. No child should have to endure the horror and trauma of sexual abuse. We hope – through this video that speaks directly to children – we can help get this important message out: that it’s important to come forward if you’ve been abused.
“In addition to the client being amazing to work with, our animators were really passionate about this project," said Charlotte. "Knowing that this work sits in an important wider context really fuelled their desire to do a great job.”