Interactive Mural & Animation Film Gives an Identity to Children Exposed to Domestic Violence across Australia
On November 25 each year, the United Nations marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This day aims to raise awareness of the sexual and physical violence that girls and women face every day, which the United Nations has called a global pandemic, with the ultimate goal to wipe out violence against women.
In Australia, more than 1 million children are affected by domestic and family violence. Experts say that exposure can lead to short and long term negative mental, behavioural, and social effects- and those who witness physical, emotional or verbal domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse drugs, and six times more likely to die by suicide.
In a bold move to expose Australia’s domestic violence problem, international lifestyle brand Jeunesse Australasia, and their charitable arm Jeunesse Kids, are bringing attention to the hidden struggles of children affected through a national purpose campaign.
In partnership with not-for-profit charity Friends with Dignity, the initiative is set to launch through the grand reveal of a raw, emotionally moving interactive mural and animation film titled ‘Sarah’s Story’ on York Street in Sydney’s CBD on the 20th of November—marking the United Nations Universal Children’s Day.
Jeunesse Australasia hopes to raise awareness around these sobering statistics through ‘Sarah’s Story’—a story based on the real-life events of a 6-year-old child affected by exposure to domestic violence in the home, and her remarkable recovery through the charity’s scholarship program called Little Friends.
The powerful mural will reveal the striking image of a young girl named Sarah— with the artist using Jeunesse NV Foundation product alongside other eco-friendly paints to craft an expression that communicates experience beyond her years. The wall will also feature a QR Scan Code that will bring Sarah’s story to life in a short animation film—revealing her tainted relationship with music, which stemmed from her parents’ attempts to drown out and shield her from the domestic violence happening behind closed doors.
The violin acoustics that play in the animation film is an original recording that come from the young girl herself, who through the scholarship program learned to play the violin and in doing so recreated a positive relationship with music.
General Manager of Jeunesse Global Australasia—Rachel McVinish believes that ‘Sarah’s Story’ is a truly touching example of the Little Friends scholarship program and the Jeunesse Kids partnership—one which they hope will empower communities to give children a brighter future.
“We envision a world where all children have the opportunity to grow and flourish and look forward to a happy, successful future,” says McVinish.
The Little Friends biannual scholarships help to cover a variety of areas—from helping kids attend camp and after-school activities with their peers, to providing uniforms & textbooks and extra-curricular activities including equipment for music classes.
“The Little Friends Scholarship program, with the support of Jeunesse Kids, ensures all children who are facing or have faced domestic violence have the ability to normalise and improve their lives,” says Friends with Dignity Co-Director and Chief Financial Officer, Julia McKenna.
“The scholarships are designed to help young domestic violence survivors re-build their confidence by finding something they are good at, and ensuring their education continues. This campaign is giving this much needed cause a platform and will raise a much-needed voice for these children in need.”
When commenting on the campaign and what they hope to achieve, McVinish has added that while addressing the issue of domestic violence is complex and will require generational change—this is a first and very important step in bringing the issue to the forefront of Australian minds.
McVinish adds, “We are hoping that this mural and initiative not only raises awareness about this social problem, but will also give much needed funds and hope to children across Australia through this honourable charity and cause.”
To show your support, please donate to the Little Friends Scholarship Program supported by Jeunesse Kids here: https://www.mycause.com.au/page/217839/little-friends-scholarship-supported-by-jeunesse-kids
Jeunesse Australasia does not provide emergency assistance or support services to people who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing domestic and family violence and/or sexual assault.
If you, a child or another person is in immediate danger, call 000.
For sexual assault domestic and family violence counselling service call 1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732. 24/7 phone and online service.
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Hashtags: #JeunesseKids #Sarahs_Story
ABOUT FRIENDS WITH DIGINITY: Friends with Dignity is a volunteer based not-for-profit registered charity that provides practical programs to assist survivors of domestic violence in collaboration with refuge and crisis centres. Our dedicated and passionate team of Volunteers are committed to making a difference within our Community, and changing the lives of the men, women and children we assist. All of our Programs are gifted unconditionally, we do not charge the Victims we assist nor the supporting organisations and refuges who refer their clients to us.
ABOUT LITTE FRIENDS SCHOLARSHIP COMMUNITY FUND: The Little Friends Scholarship Community Fund has been established to ensure children have the ability to either further their education and/or be able to participate in Educational or Extra Curricula activities that they may not be able to pursue due to the financial impact of Domestic and Family Violence within their family environment.
ABOUT JEUNESSE KIDS: Empowering communities to give children a brighter future, Jeunesse Kids is dedicated to creating a positive impact in the lives of children worldwide. As a non-profit charitable 501(c)(3) foundation, Jeunesse Kids is funded and supported by a vast community of caring individuals whose mission is to build better tomorrows for young people in underprivileged communities around the world.
 Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia 2018, AIHW