GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Have you seen some unusual billboards in Grand Rapids? If you were confused, the answers have been revealed.

A number of baffling billboards, featuring handwritten words like neglect, abuse and fear, were posted in the Grand Rapids area. The design prompted a variety of guesses as to what the meaning behind them was, including megachurches, PETA and even a "visual representation of what it's like to travel US-131 during rush hour."

Earlier this week it was revealed that the message belongs to D.A. Blodgett-St. John's -- a local children's advocacy group -- in an effort to increase engagement in the weeks leading up to April's National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

DA Blodgett child abuse billboards
D.A. Blodgett-St. John's

Residents have taken to social media to express opinions -- some expressing discomfort at the content on the boards. Others argued that the subject matter was important to address.

“There have been a lot of comments online that the billboards have made people uncomfortable,” said Katy Buck, public relations and marketing manager for D.A. Blodgett–St. John’s. “Unfortunately this is the reality for many of the children and families that we serve in our community. Our goal was to evoke in viewers the same feelings that some children face every day—anger, fear, frustration, confusion, angst–and to have the reveal visually express that D.A. Blodgett–St. John’s is a refuge from that.” 

D.A. Blodgett-St. John's provides adoption services, counseling, foster care, mentoring and more to at-risk children in West Michigan. 

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