The most important element in a difficult conversation is starting one. “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” (Ely Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize 1986). Never is this truer than with our difficulty talking about child abuse. In 2018, there were 5,865 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect in Bexar County. And while that number is staggering, it’s just as shocking to learn that only 1 in 10 sexually abused children ever report it, leaving nine others to keep a terrible secret. For those nine children, we must start the conversation.
That is why in 2014, ChildSafe created Cardboard Kids®, a city-wide public awareness campaign to draw attention to the pervasiveness of the child abuse and the fact that every story is different and every child unique. Cardboard Kids® are more than two-foot-tall cardboard figures. They represent one of the thousands of children that are abused and neglected at the hands of adults in our community each year. They start the conversation, not only by creating a visual symbol for children to identify with, but by also providing valuable tips for caregivers on how to talk to their children about child abuse and neglect.
What began with 5,800 cardboard cut-outs in 2014 has grown to over 103,000 in 2018! Every year since the program’s inception, ChildSafe has EXEEDED our goal – both in the total number of Cardboard Kids® distributed throughout the community, and in the schools, businesses, organizations, and community locations where they are displayed. With the continued support and partnerships of local businesses, clubs, organizations, and individuals, our 2019 goal is to have 120,000 Cardboard Kids® throughout Bexar County.
While Cardboard Kids® will begin distribution in March, they will be decorated and placed all over San Antonio on “Reveal Day,” Thursday, April 4, 2019. Cardboard Kids® social media campaigns, volunteers, and community partners, like YOU, guarantee a greater awareness to the problem of child abuse. Let us all be a champion for those who have spoken up as well as for those who need a voice.
Pick Up the Kids
Pick up a Cardboard Kid to decorate at any of four area malls listed below. Anyone donating $10 or more during our distribution days, will get a commemorative medal while supplies last.
March 8-9 and March 15-16
Fridays 1 pm – 6 pm
Saturdays 10 am – 6 pm
April 4 is “Reveal Day” for decorated Cardboard Kids Leave your decorated Cardboard Kid in a highly visible public place. Imagine the impact of Cardboard Kids placed all over the community! Photograph your Cardboard Kid and share the location using #cardboardkidsSA when posting on your favorite social media site, like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. —It’s Happening Everywhere
Spread the Word If you discover a Cardboard Kid, snap a photo and share the location through social media using #cardboardkidsSA when posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other media sites. Imagine the impact of expanding the conversation! —It’s Happening Everywhere
If you see a Cardboard Kid around San Antonio, please read the information on the back, then take a picture of the Cardboard Kid and share him or her on your favorite social network with the hashtag #CardboardKidsSA.