We are thrilled to have Ella guest-posting again today. A college student at WKU, Western Kentucky University, she is passionate about spreading the word and starting meaningful conversations about teen dating violence. And we not only believe that she has a powerful & critical message to share, but that she has the voice to do so. If you think that domestic violence is not an issue that affects your friends or teens, think again. The fact is that 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year. (Source: NoMore, 2013) We are proud to share her video with you and hope that it will start a meaningful conversation with your family and friends. For more information about NOMORE.org and Domestic Violence, please click here.
Ella: Earlier this year several non-profit organizations and businesses across the nation came together to launch the NO MORE campaign. The NO MORE campaign was inspired by the desire of those in the field of sexual and domestic violence prevention to change the conversation about sexual and domestic violence. For years advocates for both of these issues have competed for funding and attention from the public. Thanks to the new NO MORE symbol (a teal disc) they have come together for the first time. The goal for the NO MORE symbol is to do what the pink ribbon and the red ribbon did for Breast Cancer and HIV/AIDS awareness—removed the societal stigma surrounding the issues.
I started following the NO MORE campaign when it first launched and I have been incredibly inspired by the potential I was seeing in such a simple concept. I was so inspired that I decided I would use a video project for one of my journalism classes as an opportunity to make an on-campus Public Service Announcement (PSA) called ‘WKU says NO MORE’.
For my project I wanted to speak directly to the issues of sexual violence and victim blaming on college campuses and I invited students and faculty from my university to participate in the video, which was filmed entirely on campus. I asked all of the participants to think about phrases they had heard of victim blaming on campus and then say NO MORE to that phrase by writing it on a poster board and holding it somewhere on campus where their fellow students and colleagues could see them.
I never thought ‘WKU says NO MORE,’ would be seen by anyone other than me, my professor, and those who were in the video–I couldn’t have been more wrong. I posted the video to my Facebook late last Saturday night and by the time I woke up more than a dozen people had commented on the post praising its message. It was then that I realized that this video had more potential than I was giving it credit for. I began asking my friends to share it on their social media pages. Within 24 hours the video was shared on Facebook and had made its way to Twitter as well. Its movement was unbelievable and it was affecting people. The video was watched more than 1,500 times in 4 days and was shared on the Facebook and Twitter pages of the Joyful Heart Foundation, NO MORE, and several other non-profit organizations across the country. I am humbled and amazed by the reach this video has had in such short time period and I hope you will continue to help spread the word about the NO MORE movement by watching the video and sharing it with your friends.
Thanks! <3 Ella