With the NFL and Ray Rice saga this past season, domestic violence has been a common topic in the news, and many conversations are taking place in families, at work and on many different playing fields.
For many years, advocates for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence have argued that these types of abuse are glorified and the impacts minimized in music, television and movies. In a Public Service Announcement aired during The Grammy’s, President Obama said “It’s on us, all of us, to create a culture where violence isn’t tolerated.” This was followed by an impassioned speech by a survivor of domestic violence and friend to the WCA, Brook Axtell, about love and being human. This broadcast moment of thoughtful awareness culminated with Katy Perry’s performance of “By the Grace of God”, bringing the crowd to their feet.
Just this week, we received an online donation that was a direct result of the viral campaign #50DollarsNot50Shades, urging people to donate $50 to an agency providing services for survivors of domestic violence and to boycott the upcoming movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Putting our “money where our mouth is” will be the ultimate test of whether we can effect change in what is brought to us by the entertainment industry – whether it be the movies we go to, the television channels and programs we watch or the music we listen to.
I challenge every member of our community to give thought to the entertainment choices you make, and to be a cultural change-maker by making choices that don’t support those who choose to exploit the portrayal of domestic violence and sexual assault in the name of entertainment.
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