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Would you show this video to your child? Watch a short film about some of the dangers teenagers may face if they run away from home and tell us what you think. £2 donation from Aviva to Railway Children for every watch/ comment

(110 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 10-Apr-13 09:44:41

Railway Children have shared this video which illustrates a shocking story of what can happen to a teenager if they run away & spend time alone on UK streets. Many do make it back home safely but some end up in very different situations, forced to take huge risks in order to survive.

As part of our campaign with charity Railway Children & Aviva - to raise awareness of the fact that one child is estimated to run away from home every five minutes in the UK - we'd like as many MNers as possible to watch the video then post what you think of it on this thread:

~ Would you share it with your teenage DC (if you have one/will have one soon!)?
~ Would you use it as a conversation starter about the topic of running away from home?
~ This has been classified as Cert 15 for cinema use, do you agree? At what age do you think it would be appropriate for children to see it?
~ Do you think the video should be shown at school?

For every view of the video and for every comment* Aviva will donate £2 to Railway Children.

Here's the film



Sadly, having a child run away from home is much more common that you think. It is estimated that one child runs away from home or care in the UK every five minutes - that amounts to 100,000 each year. Railway Children exists to not only help provide safety and support for these children but also to help educate young people on the risks and alternatives to running away from home, to prevent more from doing so.

If you would like to sign up to receive more information from Railway Children, you can do that here and this too will trigger an additional donation from Aviva.

If you've got any questions, please feel free to ask.

Thanks,
MNHQ

*At least 90 seconds.

Mrsrobertduvall Wed 10-Apr-13 09:48:34

Unfortunately it won't load on my Ipad.
However...imo no film can be too graphic to show teenagers about dangers. They often live in a bubble of invincibility, and need a shock to make them realise the possibilities of what can happen to them.
Will try to view on computer.

CuppaTea83 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:27:16

My eldest is 9 so not quite the age bracket yet.

But I would allow a teenaged child to watch this and think it would be fine to show this in schools.
I think Cert 15 in the cinema is probably right though, as the cinema age rating below that is 12 which I feel, especially if they are not with their parents would be too young. They may be confused or slightly alarmed by the content (although not explicit) and have no adult to ask questions to.

Tee2072 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:45:59

My son, at 3, is way too young to be shown this or any other video about this, but if he was old enough? I'd show it to him.

Except, it's about a girl. What happens to boys on the street? Is it the same?

I know it probably is, but something Aviva/Railway Children might want to think about. Boys probably think even less about parts of running away, i.e. the prostitution part, than girls do.

And if it wasn't for my parents? That could have been me. But my parents welcomed me home when I ran away, with open arms and no censure and help.

May all runaways get the same...

Empress77 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:49:02

I think its a good conversation starter to broach the topic - and would probably show it to my (future) teenager -but not sure if id want them to see it without further discussion - eg at the cinema. Wording showing statistics might make it work without discussion perhaps? & to have advice on where to go for help etc. School might be an ok place but would need the right discussion as the girl starts off having an ok time. I would want to make my child think further about what the film shows - such as talking it through with her- 'why do you think the girl here is having to do do this?' and 'how do you think she feels about it?' etc, rather than just seeing it at the cinema?

mymonkey Wed 10-Apr-13 11:58:11

I will use this to start a conversation with DS13. It's heartbreaking but the more help we get to talk about difficult issues and potentially dangerous behaviour the better.

I think this should definitely be shown in schools from year 8 (12+) and not just to girls, it applies equally to boys who might run away or could have a friend who is thinking about it.

Mrsrobertduvall is right - teens are exposed to so much (more than we think, don't kid yourself) any informational film needs to be shocking to stand out. However also agree with CuppaTea83 that it might be best for under 15s to have an adult to talk to (if they want to) so 15 certificate would be right for cinema release but set the bar younger for schools.

snowballinashoebox Wed 10-Apr-13 12:38:08

Very powerful. My ds is is 12 in a few months and I will be showing him this video. Agree that it for under 15s there needs to be careful discussion.
kids are sponges I am sure my ds knows far more about such things than I might think.

nailak Wed 10-Apr-13 14:29:31

I don't think it would have put me off running away at that age. I don't think it is gritty enough. Also because it is not true it looses credibility. What I mean by that is that the vast majority of women who go to squat parties are not heroin addicts or prostitutes! plenty of women who attend these sort of events have jobs and are not homeless.

Maybe my experience of living in squats is just very different from what is portrayed in the video. The hardest drug that was taken was ketamine. (not by me).

Also girls with zero self esteem and confidence, who dont feel loved and belonging at home, who feel like no one cares for them etc and want to run away and are looking for acceptance already in the wrong places. I don't actually think the thought of prostitution is going to put them off running away. IME what really needs to happen is a way of increasing self esteem.

BeQuicksieorBeDead Wed 10-Apr-13 15:11:36

This is a tricky one, I think I would definitely show it to teenagers and running away from home is something I have talked to my Year 6 classes about... Not about prostitution, but about being vulnerable and finding other ways to sort things out.

I would say that of the children I have met that have been most at risk of these sort of experiences, sadly this film would make little difference to their choices. What they are facing at home or within themselves is worse than the perceived threats of the street, and they tend to know what the risks are already.I agree with nailak that what is needed is to boost self esteem in these children so that they believe they are worth more than these poor outcomes.

DwellsUndertheSink Wed 10-Apr-13 15:33:57

I would say that part of it was good, but maybe not harsh enough?

Liked the bit where she puts out her hand to beg. Also the smile with her braces....

Thought she looked like she was having a great time at the squat party - that would almost encourage?

The drug running and taking was gritty (but her blissful face after taking the drugs....again, glamourising a bit?) , and the prostitution.....well, Id like to think that the lasses going down that route would be scared and somewhat reluctant, not holding their head up high and strutting....

To me, the actress was a bit one dimensional - a bit Kirsten Stewart in her lack of facial expression.

Anyway, to the questions:

~ Would you share it with your teenage DC (if you have one/will have one soon!)? Yes
~ Would you use it as a conversation starter about the topic of running away from home? Yes. Id like a boy version too!
~ This has been classified as Cert 15 for cinema use, do you agree? At what age do you think it would be appropriate for children to see it? (*Yes, 15 is about right*
~ Do you think the video should be shown at school? Yes, to Y10/11s

Hulababy Wed 10-Apr-13 15:39:56

~ Would you share it with your teenage DC (if you have one/will have one soon!)?

My DD is only just 11y so too young; but when she was older and we were discussing such a topic I would be prepared to show the video and discuss it.

~ Would you use it as a conversation starter about the topic of running away from home?

As above

~ This has been classified as Cert 15 for cinema use, do you agree? At what age do you think it would be appropriate for children to see it?

I can see why it would be for a 15 film, as I think it explores topics that younger teens may need discussing. A 12 cert would be harder, as a 12 film allows children younger than 12, but with an adult in. I think it would be suitable for any teens to see, but in context.

~ Do you think the video should be shown at school?

Yes, it would work well as part of the PHSE topic for teens of any age.
I'd like to see one featuring a teenage boy too.

i don't think much of this tbh. i get the hint at prostitution at the end but i don't think it hits hard enough to get it across and the she's grinning doing the drugs and at the party so???

i don't think it hits hard enough or really represents the real dangers. teens are not going to be shocked and horrified at this or scared tbh. so she goes to a squat party and she smokes heroine once...?? i think it looks like,, so? and? from their perspective.

without having to be graphic or even show drug usage it could have been a lot more realistic and offputting. as it is there is an air of glamour to the whole thing i'm afraid.

i say this as someone who works in FE and writes and delivers tutorials and used to be in secondary education. i can't see teens being that fussed by this.

presumably the girl giving her chips and taking her to a party was supposed to be 'grooming' but it isn't clear enough for young viewers imo and instead kind of looks like ah look you get looked after and there's a 'scene' out there.

yeah and to be honest reflecting on this, and the work i've done with teens recently using video clips and discussion, they wouldn't decode this and would struggle to pull out what was being said. we tend to think teens are really sophisticated at video and visual images and messages but it hasn't been my experience in the classroom.

as for my own children if i had teens - no i wouldn't use this. i could think of better ways of bringing the issues in that didn't look so harmless and glam. i'd be more inclined to use real young people's accounts of things that happened to them than a glossy music vid looking clip.

actually i think for the people it presumably targets this is potentially more harm than good - it gives the impression of a community to go into which compared to their home lives might look quite appealing.

HeathRobinson Wed 10-Apr-13 16:25:50

I think it's too slick, music overlay etc. And not nearly grim enough.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 10-Apr-13 16:56:26

I think it is gritty but not gritty enough. The music is great (to my 43 year old ears), which makes it appealing to watch, but as others have said, the bit at the squat is almost too much fun, and the point about prostitution isn't strong enough, and is lost.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 10-Apr-13 17:02:26

Maybe this is beside the point, but I'm thinking about an episode of Silent Witness where unhappy teenage girls were groomed by a group of men, abused and lead into prostitution I mention it because it portrayed very well, very believably, how supposedly savvy teens could be sucked into a dreadful lifestyle.

DisorganisednotDysfunctional Wed 10-Apr-13 17:16:34

No objections to it being shown to teenagers, but I don't know how useful it would be.

The bit about the chips & the party weren't graphic enough. I assume it was meant to show grooming, but it was far too much like normal life, and the kids were all roughly the same age. Girls like boys watching them dance. And aren't kids who run away the ones who feel uncared for at home? Pushed out by new stepfathers... Insecure. Her appearance suggests she's very much loved. Someone paid for those braces.

Being chatted to or offered food by another teen and asked to a squat party isn't intrinsically sinister or off-putting. Happens a lot to ordinary teenagers. My older DS has been to several squat parties and a friend of mine (a fellow poet) lived in a huge London squat for years. It was fun at that age and a lot of teenagers wouldn't see squats as a place of inevitable danger.

The smoking heroin bit was far too glamorous. She looked totally blissed out. Bit of an advert for the joys, perhaps?

The main problem for me was that it wasn't grim enough -- I'm guessing it was showing grooming, drug addiction and prostitution but it wasn't explicit enough and, tbh, I couldn't work out why the squat lead to the prostitution. She doesn't look ill enough or miserable enough at the end. If I were a cocky little teenager I'd just brush it all off, I think.

I guess you've done loads of market research. Maybe it works better if there's a lot of discussion around it. Show the film, spend several sessions on aspects of it. On its own it's not very persuasive.

Empress77 Wed 10-Apr-13 17:22:44

I agree its not gritty enough and the partying & drugs could do with looking less fun - its kind of not until the end when its really not nice for the girl? Also wonder that perhaps the horrors at home could be way worse than the lifestyle shown since she has run away.

DisorganisednotDysfunctional Wed 10-Apr-13 17:24:32

Oops, sorry. didn't answer questions

~ Would you share it with your teenage DC (if you have one/will have one soon!)?

No. I have 2. They'd be bored. Not relevant to them or their mates. We have problems, but not those.

~ Would you use it as a conversation starter about the topic of running away from home?

No. Not v helpful to boys.

~ This has been classified as Cert 15 for cinema use, do you agree? At what age do you think it would be appropriate for children to see it?

15 is fine, though it's suitable for any secondary school child. But I'm not convinced it would be effective. It needs to be more gritty, with the messages far more clearly portrayed.

~ Do you think the video should be shown at school?

Maybe. There'd need to be a lot of discussion round it, to ensure the kids understood the points being made. The film is "coded" -- not explicit. Would they all understand that the chips business is supposed to be grooming? Is being offered chips convincing as grooming? I would say not.

RatherBeOnThePiste Wed 10-Apr-13 17:41:20

Will do. Mine are 15 and 13. Back in a bit.

chimchar Wed 10-Apr-13 17:49:42

I work with teens, and have worked with homeless young people too.

I don't think it was gritty enough at all....the girls appearance didn't deteriorate nearly enough. She still looked clean and well groomed at the end of the film which suggested to me that this was only a short term thing...not a long term problem.

The issues addressed only hinted at the real deal...if teens watching didn't know how drugs were couriered then she may have been posting a parcel for the guy?!

The girl who gave her chips looked like she was rescuing her and took her in.

The guy at the "party" who was trying it on with her was held back from her by one of his mates...again, nothing too nasty there.

If you were naive then you also may not get the prostitution thing. If she had been thrown in kicking and screaming, or off her face, it would have been far more obvious that she was doing it because she had to and not wanted to.

I dunno....

I feel bad being critical, but teens think they are invincible....it needs to be real. It would have been better with real life footage, and real life stories, and totally agree about a boys version. I was quite excited at the start because I thought it was going to be gender neutral and let us see the story through the eyes of the runaway. I liked the way it was filmed at the start....people looking etc..

I only watched it the once, but don't recall any helplines or advice websites being shown.

I is something I would share with my kids, and something that I would use as a tool to use in a discussion with the teens I work with, but it would need a fair amount of narration to point out the issues maybe.

MuchBrighterNow Wed 10-Apr-13 17:52:57

IMO The party and drug taking glamorise belonging to an alternative scene. The hint of prostitution at the end is not strong enough. I'd say its too tame to put anyone off running away.

MuchBrighterNow Wed 10-Apr-13 17:54:53

IMO The party and drug taking glamorise belonging to an alternative scene. The hint of prostitution at the end is not strong enough. I'd say its too tame to put anyone off running away.

quail Wed 10-Apr-13 18:25:06

Ohh, just made me a bit tears. My kids are too young to get it, but I will be showing them EVERYTHING including the Grange Hill Just Say No video when they get into double figures.

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