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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.

primroseyellow Sun 14-Apr-13 18:27:18

I've remembered what this film reminds me of: the early TV AIDs adverts, back in the 1980s I think. All subtle hints without any explicit explanation, designed to scare not educate.

sunmonkey Sun 14-Apr-13 20:26:19

My son is still small. But I would feel this would be irrelevant for him anyway when he's older as its not focusing on a teenage boy. I also think its glamourising too much, she never really looks like she's having an awful time of it. It needs to be scarier and shocking. However I agree with the previous posters who talked about the kids that come from homes where its not safe anyway - a way to leave home and give information about what help is out there would be a good idea.

TreeLuLa Sun 14-Apr-13 21:56:13

I agree with the poster above:

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 Y9/10/11s

ArtsMumma Mon 15-Apr-13 02:22:24

I would show this to a teenager but I'm not sure it is quite gritty enough... I think it needs a little more of the fallout; the combination of the music and imagery do glamorise aspects a little so balance it with some more hard-hitting consequences.

have thought about it some more and my conclusion is if it's meant to be educational it fails because there isn't much info there at all, if it's meant to be emotive (re: a scare tactic) it doesn't work for all the reasons i, and others said.

it's pretty but it's not shocking and it's not educational so??

as another educator said this could be used by a teacher to open some discussions but it would be the skill of the facilitator rather than the effectiveness of the film that would be put to the test there.

it's only now i've thought about it again that i've made the link that maybe the 'party' is the men viewing the girl so that she can be paid for later? it is all way too vague.

borninastorm Mon 15-Apr-13 10:42:11

I would show this to my DC before they became teenagers to start the conversation of homelessness. I would do this in the hope that it would allow me to continue the conversation as they got older and became teenagers.
I've done this already with other 'hard' topics and it means my two teenagers and I have some very interesting dinner time conversations because nothing is out of bounds for discussion and we'll all be very open with each other.
My instant reaction to the image of the girl walking towards her first night of prostitution was that she looked a bit smug about it as she stuck her chin up and outwards. But upon consideration I realised she was actually steeling herself.
To address your questions:
1. I'd show it to tweenagers to begin the conversation
2. I'd show it to my teenagers (14 and 19) now to start the conversation
3. I think it should be classified for younger audiences - 15 is too late, too many teenagers are already homeless by then cos the problems that cause homelessness often start way before that age. I think it's appropriate for age 10 and up. At that age they won't fully understand it but it would open the lines of communication to discuss running away from home and what that can lead to.
4. I'd be happy for it to be shown to my child in school from around age 10

borninastorm Mon 15-Apr-13 10:42:57

One more thing - if it's to be shown just to teenagers then it needs to be more hard-hitting to be as effective as we want/need it to be.

Jux Mon 15-Apr-13 13:13:40

My dd is 13. I don't think I'd show it to her, but I'm thinking about it still....

I don't think it is anywhere offputting enough. She looks OK, she doesn't appear to have declined much, nothing that bad is seen to happen to her. She smiles at a child in the street. She begs and is given food and invited to a party - which she seems to enjoy. She smokes (heroin?) and looks fairly blissful. She seems OK as she goes into the room, not where a fat, ugly, smelly, old bloke is waiting leering. She doesn't get beaten up, she doesn't get raped. She doesn't get addicted. There's not much difference between how she seems at the beginning and how she seems at the end.

At 15 I would have thought it was exciting but scary.

gazzalw Tue 16-Apr-13 15:26:37

I thought it was commendable although I would probably show it to my Twelve year old. It would be more impractical aimed at tweens rather than know-how-all teens. Although I am not entirely sure my son would 'get' it all. It would be the start of a series of conversations

Yes would be good to have a more specific to boys version too

Yes it would be entirely appropriate to show it at school in the context of talking about running away but also interlinked subjects of drugs and falling into prostitution.....

wonderingagain Tue 16-Apr-13 17:40:10

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 because it may have a knockon effect if her friends consider it. But children do this as a last resort because their home life is worse. An alternative to offer them might be better so I would like to have seen more signposting so "you're going from a bad situation to another bad situation but to avoid it you can contact xxx for support" It needs to be acknowledged that their feelings must be pretty bad to want to run away in the first place
A lot of the references are too subtle for children to understand and the video narrative should start at the end and work backwards IMO, this would make the references make more sense.
~ 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?
Year 10.
~ Do you think the video should be shown at school? Yes

ballstoit Tue 16-Apr-13 19:51:12

Cant view as not available for mobile devices and no sound on laptop

i'm still thinking about this unfortunately.

reality is that at the point of feeling you had no choice but to have sex with some man you didn't want to have sex with you would go home unless home was worse than that.

that's the reality. this film might scare nice little children whose home was better than this and whose parents cared enough to discuss these kinds of issues with but for a child for whom sexual abuse was a reality let's face it having a bit of heroin and getting a party beforehand would be an improvement.

i guess the producers could do with explaining to us just who their target audience was and what their intended learning outcomes were from this video. if it was 'at risk' teens then... if it was to preach to the choir as they say then maybe but what would be the point of that?

yep - my conclusion is that this totally ignores the 'from' of running away. kids run away 'from' something. they don't just think ah i'm bored of my safe, secure, stable home and reckon i'll go on a jolly. the 'from' and what help there is an alternative to running is what needs to be addressed.

this is actually quite insulting to a teen who is facing beatings, sexual abuse, no food/heat/attention/etc at home. it actually smacks of not getting just how bad things are for some young people.

my first teaching placement brought me into contact with a guy who (despite the alphabet soup and blah on the register by his name) was just unlucky enough to have been born to a smack addict and was strong/brave/smart enough to have packed a bag and taken himself to SS one day after weeks of no power, food or anything else in his 'home'.

these kids need a, 'you can come to us' message not just a ooh it's bad out there message. many face worse on a daily basis at home than is shown in this clip.

wonderingagain Wed 17-Apr-13 01:53:03

Excellent post. I was wondering about target audience too.
I think that children should be taught more about what is unacceptable at home and where to seek help if they need it. Children need similar support to abused women in that respect.

AnotherAlias Wed 17-Apr-13 03:59:47

knowing a teen who has left home home fairly recently - I would be very very surprised if this would have put her off. "bad influences" that appealed to vanity and other 'needs' - a big pull factor.

~ Would you share it with your teenage DC (if you have one/will have one soon!)?
I wouldn't object to them seeing it, but on its own, I don't think it explains enough about how you can descend into dispair on the streets. for a kid at risk, I think this video portrays the "new friend" as relatively positive. Would definitely need to be discussed with an adult as I think some of the messages are open to mis interpretation.

~ Would you use it as a conversation starter about the topic of running away from home?
Well in our case, it is a bit late as we have had it happen in our immediate circley already, but it could possibly be of some use. I wonder what the psychology is with teenagers though? is it effective mediated by parents - or more effective if something speaks for itself or is passed around among mates?

~ 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, they seem much "worse" than this via facebook, youtube / their mobile (in london comprehensives anyway - the stuff my dd will watch (without any concern that we see it either) can be shocking). Afraid this is relatively mild. Also they witness and are very aware of the kind of pressure some kids are under from issues including gangs atm - this video seems mild compared to the psychological pressure kids seem to be exposed to on a day to day basis if my dc's friends are to be believed.

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

possibly - I think maybe if you interviewed the person I know* it might be more effective (she is still to some extent deluded about the way her life is going - the only upside with her is that at least she is in partial contact with family via social media - or even a few screen shots of her FB page and the kind of things she is posting might wake up a few teenagers....it tells a pretty grim story - but maybe that is my adult mind reading between the lines?. *clearly there would be lots of issues with doing this 'for real'

Autismmumma Wed 17-Apr-13 21:25:11

I would show this to my son when he's a teen, it would prompt a lot of discussion.
It's gritty and hard-hitting and yes, it should be shown in schools but needs adequate narrative and then discussion afterwards.

This feels pitched at parent sof teenagers rath than at teenagers.

Agree that it is very anti male and that girl does not look un cared for... What does the video want teenager to do? Not runaway? Better to show options.... and girl taking up options...?

Party looked dangerous I thought... but maybe not to younger veiwers

chesh2506 Fri 19-Apr-13 11:03:49

My son is 13. I would and will show him this video. In a world like todays when they have access to internet, we cant always monitor, I feel its better we are totally honest and open with them and encourage showing/warning of "real life" as it sadly can be today sad

Mouseface Mon 22-Apr-13 14:54:18

I have a teenage DD, she's 14. I watched the video and thought 'so what'?

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

A - I did show it to her and she was confused as to what on earth it was I was showing her until the writing came up at the end. Even then she thought it was an advert to try to put teens off drugs, girls at that too.

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

A - No, it was not relevant in the least. We've talked about her running away already.

~ 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?

A - I wouldn't show it in a cinema as a 'runaway' advisory ad... it's just wrong

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

A - Not as a runaway ad. I just don't think much of this, it's not shocking, it's more like something you'd see for a 'don't do drink or drugs' ad campaign IMO.

I get the hint at the prostitution at the end, that's where she might end up to feed her 'habit', a habit that we see once? It's not hardcore enough.

I don't think it hits hard enough, my DD wasn't shocked or even upset after watching it, she wasn't even sure what the point was until the end when the writing came on the screen.

There needs to be shots of worried parent(s), family, friends, calls being made. Have you seen X? The shots of the teen looking for somewhere to sleep, eat. Ditch the music, it's all a bit timid. My DD said that watching that wouldn't make her think twice about leaving.

I also think that there needs to be helpline numbers, local schemes in local areas for parents AND children to call for help and support.

It needs to show more time, teens don't JUST run away, for one night of drugs and grooming into prostitution... there's a lot more to it. It needs to show more devastation, more shock IMO.

carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Apr-13 12:26:23

Hi all

Thanks so much for all your valuable input - there are some really interesting thoughts and ideas and we may well come back to you to gather more opinions/ feedback in the future. Don't forget you can help contribute to this campaign by joining the dedicated Mumsnet Panel here, signing up to the Railway Children's newsletter here or finding out more here and each time you do one of these things Aviva will donate £2 to the Railway Children's valuable work.

In the meantime the Railway Children wanted to respond to some of your queries and have asked us to post the following message:

"Thanks to all who have posted thoughts, comments and questions on this thread. As you know we will be working with Mumsnet during the rest of the year to raise awareness of these issues and your feedback is extremely helpful and valuable to us in order to develop this campaign further.

We also wanted to provide some further stats and facts regarding the number of children and young people who have experienced the issues covered in the film. We will also be exploring the issue of the risks and consequences a child could experience if they run away from home and will be posting more information on the info pages here: www.mumsnet.com/runningaway in the next couple of weeks, so do check back for more.

'Off the Radar' research, a report carried out by Railway Children based on interviews with children and young people with first-hand experience of running away from home, found that:
- Of the 103 young runaways interviewed all had used drugs or alcohol to varying degrees, with some as young as 9 years old using ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine, and some as young as 12 using heroin.
- Just under a fifth had experienced sexual exploitation which took a number of forms; having sexual relations with older men and in one case a woman, being forced to have sex for money by a boyfriend, being shared for sex by groups of men and selling sex on the streets.

Sadly the link between running away and being sexually exploited is also backed up by other independent research:
- A survey of young people using sexual exploitation services in 2011 found that over half had run away at least once, and a quarter had run away over 10 times - S Jago et al (2011) What's going on to safeguard children and young people from sexual exploitation? Univ of Bedfordshire, p48, p107.

- An inquiry by the Office of the Children's Commissioner, in which they interviewed young people being sexually exploited in gangs and groups, found that 70% were going missing repeatedly.

Still Running 3 by The Children's Society found that:
- 1 in 8 young runaways had stolen, 1 in 11 had begged and 1 in 9 had done 'other things' in order to survive after running away.
- 1 in 6 runaways slept rough or stayed with someone they had only just met.'

Thanks again for your support."

Greenkit Tue 23-Apr-13 17:57:13

~Would you share it with your teenage DC (if you have one/will have one soon!)? Yes will share with both my children son 15 and daughter 16

~ Would you use it as a conversation starter about the topic of running away from home? I will discuss most things with my children anyway, using various programmes. Yes we could use this to discuss running away

~ 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? from age 10, I dont think its very graffic, just suggestive. I would like to see a more hard hitting video for over 14's

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

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Wed 24-Apr-13 13:11:34

I agree with an earlier poster that the party scene may seem exciting to a teenager.

Offred Wed 24-Apr-13 14:30:48

~ Would you share it with your teenage DC (if you have one/will have one soon!)?
Don't have one but would if they were or nearly were.

~ Would you use it as a conversation starter about the topic of running away from home?
Possibly, although I've already spoken to mine about it.

~ 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 think it is pretty tame compared to some of the things that are considered appropriate even for little ones.

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

Further comments

I think the incremental progression is expressed well although I think teens watching it may react with "I wouldn't be stupid enough to take serious drugs in the first place so it doesn't apply to me" type reactions I still think it will make them think about the issue of logical progression. For me though this would have had no effect. I knew the consequences of running away, I felt them preferable to home, probably because they maybe were.

It doesn't offer any hope or help. It is simply a grim and oppressive warning. Watching it would have depressed me, possibly given me ideas about drugs and prostitution. The idea of becoming a sex worker would not have particularly frightened me because I had been raped and at the time did not care/sought out sexual abuse.

I think however that teens are more at risk from alcohol than from getting addicted to hard drugs which, although a risk, comes later, after the drinking. Sleeping with men for a home is common and drinking to cope with that is common too. Class As and formally becoming a prostitute is an extreme version of that, which is obviously bad so I can see why it was chosen.

I suspect the children that may react to this in the desired way are not the ones who might run away.

Offred Wed 24-Apr-13 14:35:37

I think probably it irritates me a little because the implication is that teens don't consider the consequences or make at least a semi-informed choice about running away. It is all 'silly little girl, bad things will happen to you' whereas I think a lot of runaways will consider running away as the way to take control of their lives and know that bad things will happen but act pragmatically to feel in control of those things rather than feel or be swept up like a victim. in that way it is very simplistic and therefore redundant as it is reasoning perhaps appropriate for age 5-8s presented to teenagers.

nooka Fri 26-Apr-13 05:56:35

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

I showed the video to my 12 year old dd, and I'll see if I can get 13 year old ds to watch it too (dd is generally more likely to look at stuff and having seen the video is probably not going to be very interested).

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

dd said 'why would I run away from home when I have computers/consoles here'. That sounds flip, but she has already done lots of stuff at school about homelessness/poverty and is pretty savy. She is well aware that other people live (or not) with very bad situations and that she is very fortunate. She is only 12 though, I'm sure she will hate us/life etc soon enough!

~ 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 think this is fine for kids younger than 15 - I didn't think there was anything inappropriate or scary for dd

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

I think this could be shown at school, but as others have said it needs an equivalent for boys because there's not much for them to relate to.

dd and I looked at some of the early comments and she was a bit scathing about those that thought teenagers wouldn't pick up on the messages. She thought that the fading away technique was a really effective way to show that the girl was losing herself. She also thought that the party was scary, and the prostitution obvious. She didn't think that the drug taking scene was glamorous, but we've talked quite a bit about drugs with her and her brother (mainly to modify the 'all drugs are terrible' message they got from school which I felt would ultimately be counterproductive because it's not really true and most teens are bright enough to know that).

She said it reminded her of this video (Ed Sheeran's A team), which is one of her current favourites and hard hitting enough to have the homeless big issue selling drug taking prostitute dead by the end of the track (actually I think she might be dead at the beginning).

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