Child Abuse

‘Abuse Emojis’ Let Kids Reach Out For Help, So Tell Us Again How Technology Is Evil‏

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There is plenty in the news these days about the evils of technology, particularly where children are concerned. Screen time, parents being on their phones too often and all of us becoming generally worse humans because we’re too tied to our electronic devices are just a few examples of the stories we read about often. That is why it’s so refreshing to see technology being used for good to remind us all that we are living in an amazing time where almost anything is possible. Today, that “anything” is a set of abuse emojis created to assist children in communicating how they’ve been hurt and to hopefully, reach out for help.

**Please be warned that these images may be upsetting**

Via AdWeek, we learn that a Swedish children’s helpline came up with these emojis that illustrate a variety of ways a child could be abused. It’s upsetting to contemplate a little kid even needing to employ such a tool, but we all know child abuse happens every day. Anything that could assist kids in getting the help they need is a wonderful thing and I’m glad someone came up with it. Check them out here and below:

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Pretty powerful, right? Of course, we are all used to seeing emojis in a fun context so the familiar tear face with a black eye added in is compelling to say the least. I will admit to having a pit in my stomach knowing the reasons a child would need to use these sad images but I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for a kid to tell anyone about the abuse they’re being subjected to. I know sometimes, drawing pictures can be helpful for a child to convey their emotions but to me, this is just as good. They can find the emoji they identify with in regard to their abuse and send it to someone. Very sad, but also, kind of amazing.

According to AdWeek, the non-profit group BRIS is behind the creation of the emojis:

“A complex reality demands a complex set of symbols,” says the nonprofit group, BRIS, which helps at-risk children and teenagers. “The Abused Emojis make it possible for kids and young people to talk about situations where they felt bad or wrongly treated without having to put words on the situation. If you or somebody you know have been hurt, mistreated or feel sad, Abused Emojis makes it easier to talk about.”

A lot of kids might have trouble talking about their abusive situations but these emojis are familiar to nearly all young people. It’s a pretty genius idea to take something they can already relate to, a method of communication used by this age group all the time, to help them in their time of need. As sad as it is that anyone would need to use them, I’m glad they exist. They’re certainly the best use of technology I’ve seen in a long time.

(Images: BRIS)