One of the most unsettling commercials in this year’s Super Bowl was the “No More” domestic violence ad.
The ad was simple, with no music, displaying only text messages on an iPhone screen. One girl texts her friend and invites her to a Super Bowl party. The friend says she can’t go out because “Jake is in one of his moods.” The first friend asks if she is ok. [CAPS] She doesn’t respond.
The next words flash on the screen. “There are many signs of domestic violence and sexual assault. Text NO MORE to 94543.”
The ad is chilling but the true story is horrifying.
The CDC reported in 2010 that one in three women and one in four men will experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes. Twenty-one percent of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner according to a University of Michigan study. Thirteen percent of college women also reported they were forced to have sex by a dating partner.
Many more cases remain unreported.
These statistics may make you want to cry. Well, they should. Someone from your high school, someone in your dorm, in your club, in your class, is suffering from domestic violence, and you can do something about it through texting. [WHAT ABOUT YOU, YOURSELF? SHOULDN’T THAT BE INCLUDED IN THIS LIST?}
The “No More” campaign focuses its efforts on the role [THAT] friends, family and other bystanders play in stopping the sickening trend of domestic violence. In the Super Bowl ad, the friend sees signs of domestic violence from just a few text messages.
If you keep your eyes open, even texting can become a way for you to engage in stopping this trend. Don’t ignore those little signs of domestic violence or sexual assault. Some people are more open to communicating when it’s on a screen, so take advantage of that and reach out to your friends about this issue.
You already send thousands of texts every day, so what’s one more?
The “No More” campaign also uses texting as a way of empowering bystanders with information and tips. If you text “NO MORE” to an automated number, you can get automatic tips and links to more information. [OK, BUT YOU’VE RAISED EXPECTATONS, SAYING I CAN STOP DOMESTIC ABUSE. IF THAT’S TRUE, EXPLAIN HOW THIS WORKS — HOW DO MY TEXTS ACTUALLY STOP SOMEONE FROM BEING ABUSED?] [JUST BECAUSE THE CAMPAIGN LITERATURE SAYS IT WORKS DOESN’T MEAN THAT IT DOES] [IF ALL IT DOES IS RAISE AWARENESS, THEN CAREFULLY LIMIT YOUR STATEMENTS SO YOU DON’T OVERALL IT]
You may not choose this method to engage in the issue of domestic violence, but consider how your phone gives you unlimited access to information.
It’s time to get educated on this problem that has infiltrated our society. It’s time to stop ignoring the signs. It’s time to stop just texting and start texting with a purpose.
Domestic violence and sexual assault don’t have to be normal. The power to make a difference is literally in your hands.