ActionAid India, an agency working with vulnerable communities, has launched #JoinTheDots, a campaign to highlight child sexual abuse, in partnership with WATConsult, a digital agency from Dentsu Aegis Network's bouquet.
The campaign is conceptualised and executed by âThe Alter Projectâ, WATConsultâs latest vertical, dedicated to public service campaigns. The launch of the project is a part of the agencyâs 12th-anniversary celebrations themed 12 Notches Higher.
The campaign aims to prevent incidences of abuse as well as encourages adults to address such violence with a call to action toÂ âSee, Listen and Actâ.
The campaign video launched digitally opens with a motherâs narrative, showcasing a strong bond with her son, threaded together by their intimate and candid moments. It further highlights subtle signs of behaviour change in the child that parents unintentionally tend to ignore, considering it normal.
The film points out that the behavioural signs of a sexually abused child can be very similar to the signs caused due to other conditions or stress, physical or mental. It emphasises that these signs are all present around us and adults just need to spot them and address them in time. Parents and guardians have to encourage a culture of regular communication with their child and be vigilant to acknowledge hints. This would help prevent or tackle any incidences of abuse, with the childâs best interests in mind.
To make the same simpler, the campaign video leads to a âConversation Starter Toolâ on the website:Â www.jointhedotsnow.com.
The tool enables an interestingly active conversation between a responsible adult and the child in her/his care. Through the tool, the child can speak about the different worlds she/he inhabits, every day, and what she/he experiences and feels in these worlds.Â
The conversation would also help the adult to invite the child into their world so that children can also learn about the emotions and feelings that adults might have. Through these conversations, the adult will be in a better place to understand the emotions of the child, helping the adult to always act in the best interests of the child.
Government data shows that every 15 minutes, a child is sexually abused in India.
Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, ActionAid India, said, âActionAid India remains committed to working for the protection of children, especially girls, from discriminatory practices of sex-selective abortions, trafficking and sexual assault. Over the years, we have worked with allied organisations, the administration and policymakers to bring a change on the ground for the protection, nutrition and education of children. Childrenâs vulnerability will remain till children in all contexts are recognised as equal citizens. In the family, this calls for children to be listened to and their interests being considered as equal, if not of paramount interest. Through the âJoin the Dotsâ campaign, we want to help adults see, listen and act in the best interests of children.â
Boomlet Media, aÂ content marketing agency, also came on board as supporting partners for this campaign.
Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WATConsult, said, âSocial good has always been at the core of our growth philosophy with our teams fearlessly picking up issues that needed a voice to transform the social order in the country. Last year at WATConsult, we saw bold campaigns that dealt with subjects such as girl child education, rights of transgender people, youth suicides, child trafficking, organ donation and such others mobilising stakeholders through unique ways. Itâs time for brands to step forward and champion mass movements for the public good. Just like its logo, The Alter Project, through its collaborations with brands and its campaigns, will lead to a new wave of dignity, equality, and inclusion. We invite brands to associate with The Alter Project by WATConsult and write the new narrative together.â
ActionAid has been able to make a positive impact on ensuring good quality public education accessible to all children, and ensure that the laws prohibiting child marriage are strengthened and the laws against child labour are made stringent.