The new ads on Dallas buses are meant to shock, says the Dallas Morning News. One features a smiling little girl in a tiara with the message: “One day my husband will kill me.” Another shows a smiling boy: “When I grow up, I will beat my wife.” The ads are part of a provocative new campaign for The Family Place, which provides a hotline, shelter, housing, and counseling programs to victims of domestic violence. Paige Flink, executive director, said the agency wanted to take a new approach after 30 years of working with victims of family violence.
Past campaigns have included images of bruised women or men behind bars. This time, the idea was to focus on an often forgotten victim of domestic violence: children. Kids who grow up in homes with domestic violence are more likely to become victims or abusers. About 70 percent of the women who seek help at The Family Place grew up in homes with domestic violence. The Dallas Police Department reported 14,951 family violence offenses and 28 family violence murders in 2007. Ads with shock value are sure to offend some, said Southern Methodist University Prof. Dan Howard, chairman of the marketing department. But he believes the ads are effective.