Anthropologists tell us that storytelling is central to human existence and that it is common to every known culture. We use stories to make sense of our world and to share that understanding with others.
In our campaign against harmful media and its effects it is sometimes hard to offer a visual aid to illustrate the problems we are highlighting; something that would speak as powerfully as the models of slave ships and the manacles that Wilberforce used so effectively in the fight to abolish the slave trade.
What we can offer are the powerful stories of those who have been effected by their exposure to or use of such material.
Last spring we were delighted to facilitate an event which enabled a group of under 30s to go into parliament and talk to MPs about the impact that growing up with the most extreme material easily available to them at the click of a mouse. The conference was such a success because of the powerful stories we heard; young men and women casting off the constraints of embarrassment and fear to sound the alarm for the sake of their generation and the next.
Their stories are our most potent weapon.
Similarly, it was the personal stories of the effect of the media on children in her care which motivated Mary Whitehouse to begin campaigning.
We are looking for more stories from those who have experienced challenging media situations with their children or grandchildren. Stories that will give a human face to our campaign. Stories that we can use to make our case to politicians, regulators and potential funders of the projects on which we are working with the Children & Families Media Education Trust. Stories like that of Mrs W whose eleven year old son was shown hard-core pornography on the phone of a friend during a lesson at school. Stories like the one of Mrs G whose daughter became addicted to pornography which she accessed on her phone using the unfiltered wi-fi at a friend’s house.
Do you have a story which you could share with us?
If you have a story to tell please do get in touch so that we present your experience to those who are able to make a difference.