David Beckham’s Tattoos Come to Life in This Haunting Child Abuse PSA for Unicef

A call to end violence

Headshot of Katie Richards

Many people around the world elect to get tattoos, some with sentimental value, others for marking happy memories, but a new PSA from Unicef U.K. aims to show that some children are marked throughout their lives with scars they don't ask for.

Longtime Unicef ambassador David Beckham stars in the dark new #ENDviolence campaign, which debuted today. In the spot we see a tattooed Beckham, but the tattoos on his body aren't the ones fans are used to seeing. 

Instead, the ink on his body comes to life to tell dark stories of children experiencing physical and psychological abuse. Viewers hear children cry and scream as his tattoos show a father striking his young child and a boy getting bullied by a fellow classmate. The spot concludes with Beckham saying, "Violence against children marks them forever. It's wrong. End it."

"Last year I visited Cambodia with Unicef where I met and listened to children tell me about terrible violence they have experienced. I was shocked by what I heard and I saw how violence can leave deep and lasting scars. No child should have to endure this … I hope this new project will draw attention to this urgent issue and inspire action," Beckham said in a statement.

The latest PSA is part of Beckham's 7 Fund with Unicef. According to Unicef roughly one in 10 girls under the age of 20 have been subjected to sexual violence, and one child dies every five minutes because of violence.

"Violence and abuse take a terrible toll on children's lives and futures—harming their bodies, undermining their emotional wellbeing, even interfering with the healthy development of their brains," Anthony Lake, Unicef executive director, said in a statement. "When we protect children from violence, we prevent individual tragedies—and promote stronger, more stable societies. Thanks to powerful advocates like David Beckham, and fueled by the voices of children and young people themselves, we are building momentum for ending violence against children everywhere." 

@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.