Right of Reply: Jim Hourding

The director of the NSPCC answers criticisms about their controversial recent television advertising campaign
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The Independent Culture
THE PUBLIC response to the Full Stop campaign has been huge and overwhelmingly positive. About 43 million people saw the TV advert and 150 people complained to the Independent Television Commission.

More than half a million people have pledged to be partners in our Full Stop campaign to end cruelty to children, which TV advertising launched with such impact in March this year. This is not to say that we dismiss those people who did complain about the TV advert. We took them very seriously and took action to ensure that each person's concerns were paid attention to. Our 24-hour Child Protection Helpline had to cope with a 300 per cent increase in calls.

The advertising was deliberately hard-hitting. Most abuse takes place in the family home, which is an important message we wanted to get across. Our research shows that people hide from child abuse, because what they suspect is too painful to confront. We wanted to emotionally engage people in the Full Stop campaign to break the culture of silence and denial that allows child abuse to be an unacceptable stain on our society. Many people were moved to action - 150,000 people have signed up to be NSPCC campaigners.

We expected that some survivors of abuse would be distressed by the advertising and did our utmost to provide counselling through our helpline. However, we also had messages of support from survivors and the National Association for People Abused in Childhood backed the campaign. Many survivors told us that, though the ads may have reminded them of abuse, they were proud that we were making a stand to ensure that other children do not suffer as they did.