A domestic violence shelter's new awareness campaign features ads on city buses that show young children alongside disturbing captions such as, "One day my husband will kill me."
The ads, which appear on and inside several Dallas buses, are designed to shock people, said Paige Flink, The Family Place's executive director.
"Children are greatly affected by family violence, even though people think it's a man and a woman fighting," Flink said in Thursday's editions of The Dallas Morning News. "Victims get blamed a lot. If you put an adult battered woman (on an ad), some people would blame her. But children are still seen as innocent."
One ad features a smiling young girl who's wearing a tiara next to the "One day my husband will kill me" captions. Another features a boy: "When I grow up, I will beat my wife."
The nonprofit group's ads have prompted a few complaints and two billboard companies refused to accept it, Flink said.
The Family Place, which runs a hot line and provides shelter and counseling to domestic violence victims, was trying a different approach to stop the cycle of abuse. She said most of the women who get help at The Family Place grew up in homes with domestic violence.
There were more than 14,951 family violence offenses and 28 family violence murders reported in Dallas in 2007, according to the Dallas Police Department.
"There are some women who will do more to protect their children than they will to protect themselves," he said.
The ads, which started running Oct. 1, will appear through November.