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Balenciaga partners with children’s advocacy group after scandal involving kids with BDSM teddy bears

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Luxury fashion house Balenciaga has announced it should partner with a children’s advocacy group after facing backlash over advertisements accused of ties to child abuse and child pornography. 

On Wednesday, Balenciaga and the Kering Foundation announced they’d be entering a three-year partnership with the National Children’s Alliance (NCA), a nonprofit based out of Washington D.C.

This system will concentrate on three primary goals: Supporting National Children Alliance Mental Health Institute helping children heal from trauma by facilitating a big increase in access to Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Training (TF-CBT), providing education for Balenciaga about child protection and actions adults can take to advertise the security and well-being of kids, and raising public awareness on child abuse and child protection and promoting a completely satisfied, healthy childhood.

The press release for the partnership claims that support from Balenciaga will allow the NCA to coach almost 2,000 child abuse professionals and will provide advantages to around 55,000 children receiving mental healthcare. 

Photos of children holding bears appearing to be draped in BDSM style harnesses caused outrage with Balenciaga.Photos of kids holding bears appearing to be draped in BDSM style harnesses caused outrage with Balenciaga.Jam Press/Balenciaga

“We were confronted with the fact and magnitude of childhood trauma during our listening tour where we engaged with several leading organizations and experts in the sector of childhood trauma,” Balenciaga President and Chief Executive Officer Cédric Charbit said in an announcement. 

He added that the experience has enabled Balenciaga to learn and affirmed the corporate’s commitment to have a positive and lasting impact on kids and their future. 

The NCA serves because the national association and accrediting body of Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) and serves 386,000 children a yr across the U.S. 

Support from Balenciaga will allow the NCA to train almost 2,000 child abuse professionals, according to a press release. Support from Balenciaga will allow the NCA to coach almost 2,000 child abuse professionals, in line with a press release. In Pictures via Getty Images

In 2022, the NCA created the Mental Health Institute to extend access to “evidence based, trauma focused mental health treatment” for teenagers. 

The announcement comes after Balenciaga apologized for 2 concurrent controversies surrounding imagery present in their advertisements. 

In an commercial for the Balenciaga Adidas bag collaboration, the product was placed atop a desk covered in documents. Certainly one of the documents contained text of the Supreme Court case United States v. Williams, a case focused on the distribution of kid pornography.

A young girl is pictured holding a teddy bear in bondage style gear on the gift shop section of the Balenciaga website.A young girl is pictured holding a teddy bear in bondage style gear on the gift shop section of the Balenciaga website.Jam Press/Balenciaga

“We apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign,” a brand statement published on Instagram read. “We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal motion against the parties accountable for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot. We strongly condemn abuse of kids in any form. We stand for youngsters safety and well-being.”

Balenciaga also apologized for a separate ad campaign that featured photos of kid models holding teddy bears wearing bondage gear.

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