The Cycle of Abuse Illustrated Through Single Photos and Multiple Models


Statistics show that 70% of people who are abused as children will grow up into adults who will in turn abuse children. A recent awareness ad campaign by Mexican organization Save the Children shared this fact in single photographs that are both creative and difficult to stomach.

The advertisements were originally published back in May 2012, and were created by Mexican agency Y&R and photographer Ale Burset.

Each one uses five models showing one individual at different stages of life. In the foreground, the individual is experiencing abuse as a child. Older versions of the abused child grow up as they walk across the background of the frame, and turn into the original abuser by the time they walk a full circle.

“70% of abused children turn into abusive adults. Donate at,” the advertisements say.



You can find the original high-resolution advertisement photographs here, here, and here.

(via Ads of the World)

  • Mantis

    Holy crap. Very dramatic and well done.

    Now excuse me. I have to go hug my kids.

  • Clint Davis

    Very powerful, hopefully this speaks to a lot of people in need

  • MikeAlgar42

    There should be a photo series of you hugging your kids, the anti to this project.

  • tonyc0101

    That just might be the point…the adoring cycle of love may not spin as easily as the vicious cycle of abuse, I’m afraid (no pun intended).

  • Igor Ken

    very powerful

  • Andrew McGibbon


  • Sid Ceaser

    Woah. Fantastic stuff. Beautiful execution.

  • Gwen Newcomb

    so dramatic and so true that it can be a vicious cycle, sometimes an intervention can help break the cycle. I have seen it work, doing nothing to help is only making it worse.

  • Trey Mortensen

    Who knows. Like in Inception (I had to make a movie reference), DiCaprio’s character stands firm that positive reenforcement trumps the negative every time. So both could possibly be effective

  • Aidan Scott

    To not add stigma to abuse I think it’s important to say 70% when they stay silent; campaigns like this break the silence which help break the abuse. I was abused and I’m breaking the chain. It is horrible and its never a childs fault nor do they deserve it. End abuse NOW!

  • Adrienne

    What a great campaign.

  • Michael Zhang

    Haha, nope. Interesting coincidence though :)

  • W2T Design

    As a graphic designer student, I found this ad very powerful and dramatic, and also successful. This has really give me an insight and inspire me to pursue more in depth with graphic design, because it is not just an ordinary art, it is an art that help deliver messages through out the world. Nevertheless, I was also abused as a child, I see all the wrongs in child abused, and I promised myself to never hit my own kids. This ad is powerful and it brought tears to my eyes, I want to change the world, and this is a great start.

  • Lubyanka

    I see this statistic inverted (perverted) a LOT. I believe the ACTUAL statistic is that 70% of ABUSERS were abused as children.

    To me, lumping 70% of the abused into the ‘abusers’ category is MASSIVELY offensive.

    So before abusing this or other statistics, before committing to publication, next and every time DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ACCURACY. Especially when the topic is as sensitive as this one.

    Thank you.

  • Biliana Bibi Bibishan

    oh. I dont see why are we looking for numbers? see the facts. and sorry an Abuser is an abuser in those 70 % or less or more .. a violent person it is. so why are you kinda defending the Abuser.s? or you are defending the non.abuser.s? I dont understand now this argumentation over numbers and not ?!??!?!?! sorry Lubyanka you are not so wrong but neither right …………………………..:/

  • Biliana Bibi Bibishan

    statistics are not in questuion here. but VICTIMS of abusers and it is a family damned cycle ……..:/

  • Angie-Marie

    Great photos and very dramatic. However that statistic used is wrong. It is closer to 30%. No exaggeration is needed for something so horrible. Not to mention it leads people to believe that someone who was abused will abuse and keeps other from building relationships with them and creates stigma.