Thursday, May 07, 2009

Textual Harassment

This is a very clever and disturbingly humourous PSA from the Ad Council, Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Office on Violence Against Women.

Textual harassment is a relatively new phenomenon of the hyper-connected age. One of the major downfalls of 'web 2.0' and social networking is the ease at which it lends itself to harassment of all kinds from anonymous comments on blogs, fake myspace pages, facebook groups designed to belittle and humiliate.

From their youtube page:
1 in 4 teens in a relationship say they have been called names, harassed or put down by their partner through cell phones and texting.

Digital communication is an integral part of teens lives and this fairly unchartered digital space has created new challenges for teens as they start to experience intimate relationships. Unfortunately, dating abuse in the digital world is increasingly becoming a serious problem unique to the millennial generation of teens.

Cellphones and the internet have become prime environment for controlling behavior, such as sending unwanted text messages or pressuring for nude pictures, that can be abusive or lead to relationship violence.
In an effort to prevent teen dating abuse and help teens build healthy relationships, the Ad Council has partnered with the Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Office on Violence Against Women on a national, multimedia PSA campaign.

The new PSAs are designed to help teens recognize digital dating abuse and provide them with the tools to initiate a conversation about this issue. The PSAs direct teens to visit were they are encouraged to draw their own lines around what is, or is not, acceptable relationship behavior and seek help from their peers.

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