Winner 1994

Break the Silence: Kids Against Child Abuse

Arnold Shapiro Productions, Santa Monica, California, CBS News, New York, NY

In recent years, child abuse has become a subject of great societal concern and the topic of numerous television dramatic and documentary works. What has been missing in much of the discussion and in media presentations has been the development of means by which children can learn about abuse and how they might reach out for help. This landmark program provides just such a blueprint for change. Executive producer Arnold Shapiro assembled an outstanding team to document the problem of child abuse and to explain it to children in a way that informs them without frightening them into silence. Using tasteful yet direct animations by John Canemaker, in conjunction with testimonials from four formerly abused children and an exquisite narration by host Jane Seymour, Break the Silence connects with kids and their parents in a manner which is powerful in its simplicity. The commercial-free broadcast on CBS, which included a direct response telephone number, generated thousands of calls. For performing a vital public service in a compelling and accessible way, a Peabody to Arnold Shapiro Productions and USAA for Break the Silence: Kids Against Child Abuse.