Advanced search

This topic is for paid for discussions. Please mail us at if you'd like to know more about how they work.

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.


*At least 90 seconds.

Mynewmoniker Thu 11-Apr-13 15:42:15

I work with teenagers.

I don't think it's gritty enough. Compare it to CEOP's videos and they win it for me because they don't leave stuff to be worked out and they have voice overs.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 11-Apr-13 15:54:11

Hello Thanks for all your comments so far.

Railway Children have asked us to pass on the following "Thank you for your questions/ queries regarding what happens to boys on the streets. You are right, this video shows the story of a teenage girl, but boys can be just as vulnerable. As you may have already seen on our ‘running away’ advice pages, research has shown that girls do tend to run away more often than boys – though boys tend to run away for longer.

Boys can also be exploited by older men on the streets and we have seen cases of boys selling their bodies to get some food or somewhere to stay.

We at Railway Children are aware of the issues boys face, as well as girls, and through detached youth work and other forms of outreach, we work through our partners with both sexes to make sure issues such as exploitation and abuse are discussed with them, and that they are made aware of the dangers they face and how to avoid them.

If you’re interested in finding out more, you may be interested to read the results of some of our research"

ParsleyTheLioness Thu 11-Apr-13 17:04:38

I would show this to dd15. We often have convos about 'social issues' so this would be the same. IME teenagers now are more worldly than I was growing up in the 70's, so I think it could be shown in secondary schools from 13.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 11-Apr-13 18:45:33

where are the subtitles?

Aliensstolemychildren Thu 11-Apr-13 19:24:15

This is a rather good campaign but a few points:

1. It is focussed towards girls - there should be a male equivalent
2. The girl in the video looks old(er) to me, I think some 15yos that I have worked with might have difficulty relating to her
3. I would want the key message (make the invisible visible(?)) more clear - this was a bit lost
4. It could be used as a conversation starter - but there are hundreds of conversations in there - from running away from home/sex/drugs/alcohol etc......way too many conversations to tackle in one video
5. This could be used in schools - could it possibly be tied in alongside one of the set texts for English(?) or possible Geography - it might be better to start that type of conversation in a structured academic way and then do follow ups in PSHE etc.

As someone who does similar work in primary schools for a different charity - this piece is not standalone and needs to be accompanied by a significant amount of either literature/website or adult/teacher input - however fantastic work nonetheless.

Doinmummy Thu 11-Apr-13 20:26:30

I will show it to DD15, but think it could do with being a lot more graphic. Teens these days ( or at least my DD and her mates) watch horror films so feel that they need to be properly shocked for it to have the desired impact. It depends on the age of the teen that's watching it I guess.

fortyplus Fri 12-Apr-13 00:40:51

i think the music hides the grim reality - it needs to be darker - not necessarily more graphic but definitely more scary. And yes it should be shown in schools once the message is clearer. I would have shown it to mine at 15 - they're 17 & 19 now

napoleon Fri 12-Apr-13 08:30:34

this is a great video, i would show it to teeens along with a talk on these things, i also think boys need to be aware of the dangers for them also, they often feel they are less vulnerable than the girls.

sashh Fri 12-Apr-13 08:54:57

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

Don't have one. My teenage self would have thought that looked better than being at home.

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

Not sure.

~ 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 depends on when and where. It needs to be used as a resource along with other interventions.

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

Possibly, again with it wrapped in among other information.

My basic feeling is that this is typical of every other time I've seen a runaway portrayed, whether in a soap opera or film, or whatever.

I came within a whisker of running away as a teenager, I was also considering suicide. I was in a bad place and needed a way out, I got that in the form of an abusive relationship, but it was still better than living at home.

What this doesn't show is what alternatives there are, if there are any.

Children do not run to something, they are running away from something, maybe there should be somewhere for them to run to? Maybe for a few hours, maybe long term.

As far as I know there isn't anything, but I will go look at the Railway children website

Timetoask Fri 12-Apr-13 09:04:04

I think this very visual medium is excellent to reach out to young people.
However, I think this particular video is not shocking enough.
The music is too "fun", it should be something much more dramatic.
I should be feeling upset after watching it and I didn't.
I think it would be more useful to have a short "documentary" like video with real people (identities could be hidden) talking about what happened to them.

Callofthefishwife Fri 12-Apr-13 11:18:49

Its powerful but not gritty and shocking enough for teens.

My 14yo just watched it and shrugged and said "that was a nice ending - not".

11yo just watched the last bit and commented on how depressing it was.

I will obviously discuss it further with them both but my feeling is although it is a powerful film it lacks shock - which is one way to make the penny drop for teens.

coreny Fri 12-Apr-13 11:55:08

I think cert 15 is about right and I think it should be shown in schools but alongside appropriate input so that children get a chance to discuss the issues.

I'd like to see something helping children who are just at the stage of feeling that they may want to run away. What help us there- who do they go to? Perhaps a video demonstrating this would be helpful.

I may show it to my 14 year old ds but I think he'll say that the party looks like fun.
apart from the prostitution at the end it looks like a 'cool' lifestyle compared to going to school and doing homework etc.

My ds won't be able to imagine himself in the situation of the girl in the video I don't think. He'll think that it couldn't happen to him.

The video seems to be aimed at an adult point of view rather than a child's. The men leering at the girl when she was dancing will go right over the heads of many teens for example.

Gen Fri 12-Apr-13 19:05:40

Yes, I will show it to my teenage children and use it to discuss the issues it raises. I think 15 is fine in the cinema, but it does need to be shown and then discussed, whereas teenagers go to the cinema with friends therefore the discussion points maybe missed e.g. grooming/can't trust people etc. I think it is fine to use in schools. I already use some of the Railway Children lesson ideas in my PSHE lessons and will be using this, perhaps in conjunction with the Comic Relief and Eastenders story line a few years ago.

littleboo21 Fri 12-Apr-13 20:03:29

As awful as the film is I don't think it warrants a 15 cert, I think certain aspects such as the prostitution need more focus and less on the drugs and alcohol as they can be seen as 'attractive' to youngsters. I can see many 15/16 yr olds wanting to be prostitutes

flow4 Fri 12-Apr-13 20:14:48

Would you share it with your teenage DC (if you have one/will have one soon!)? Have done - see below.

Would you use it as a conversation starter about the topic of running away from home? No. I don't think it's very good (sorry). I have boys, and this is definitely about a girl. It's too glossy. The actress looks too old - my son says 17-20, I thought the top end of that. But most importantly, it doesn't actually make the link that this is about kids running away from home - my son had to be told that. At face value, it could be about a student or other young woman making dangerous choices.

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? This is a 'safe' limit.

Do you think the video should be shown at school? Probably not. My experience of PSHE/RESPECT/ERIC (whatever they call it) is that it's taught well by good teachers, and really badly by bad teachers... This is quite a complex, taboo subject, and I can imagine some teachers really messing up the discussion!

Now comments about the vid from DS2 (13)... He says...
(Firstly, as the caption appears at the end)... "And 95% of them come straight back home again... Seriously, does that 5% include the kids who just get as far as the bottom of the garden?"

Then "It's trying to show you what it's like when you run away from home. This is a bad case. There are probably a very limited number of people who have a bad experience like this. It wouldn't put me off. But then I wouldn't want to run away from home anyway. I wouldn't want to be on the street, and going to parties, and taking drugs, and being a prostitute... She got a false sense of security - she thought she was getting away from the streets, but then she ended up messing up her life... But something must have been very bad at home to make her think this was better".

His comment about whether to show this in school was "Nah. Some kids can't handle this kind of thing at all"...

DoTheBestThingsInLifeHaveFleas Fri 12-Apr-13 20:49:38

I agree with muchbrighternow. I would show it to a teen, BUT I think it almost looks appealing. She is immediately befriended and heads off to what could be percieved as a 'cool' party, the sort of thing they have on Skins, and the drug taking looks like it could be cool too, and the hint of prostitution is way too subtle. When I was a teen I would have thought it was just some man at a party she was having sex with....

ColinFirthsGirth Fri 12-Apr-13 23:21:58

I would show my children this when they are teenagers. I also agree that the message is too subtle.I am not sure that evry teenager will get what the video is trying to say. I think a video like this should be shown in schools and that a 15 certificate would be appropriate for a cinema.

Pacific Sat 13-Apr-13 08:23:58

Watched it with my heart in my mouth saying "Nooo! NOOO! Don't do it" so it was effective for me.

I have older teenagers who are probably past the danger age but I think this would be most effective for 11/12/13 year olds.

I also agree with some of the comments above saying if a child is suffering at home this could be the better option. sad This film could be followed with a film about getting help through legitimate channels.

There used to be a split screen film for teenagers shown on TV in Scotland with one side of the film showing the same teenager making good choices. In the final scene the 'good' teenager passed the drug addict beggar in the street but they were the same person!

RatherBeOnThePiste Sat 13-Apr-13 08:55:19

Watched with my son 13 and DD 15,

Would you share it with your teenage DC
Yes and I did

Would you use it as a conversation starter about the topic of running away from home?
Generally and also about vulnerability, thinking of others that may worry them, reasons for going, where to find help, yes, but think it needed to be grittier.

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? Hmmmm, I think by 15 it is rather late, although I'd like it harder hitting, I think appropriate for younger but only with adults to talk to afterwards. Not sure cinema is the right place.

Do you think the video should be shown at school? Yes, definitely, I think a perfect video for schools to initiate discussions, really an important part of the film would be the discussion after although I know a lot of implied content went over DS's head, which is why I think the cinema is wrong for this.

Thought the party looked a bit too much like fun, but of course she is being sucked into drug taking. DS missed the prostitiution bit really, DD was horrified

Maybe not graphic enough re the drug taking

Music - possibly more sinister would be better?

Shallishanti Sat 13-Apr-13 13:17:49

Would you share it with your teenageer
would have no objection, but it seems a bit random- he's supposed to be revising!

Would you use it as a conversation starter about the topic of running away from home?
Probably not, I don't think it does the job very well. It doesn't highlight dangers for boys. The dangers for girls are only there to be seen by someone who already knows what they are. The timescale isn't clear and the emotions aren't either, so it looks like you go from homeless to heroin to prostitution in about 2 days. I think soaps deal with things FAR better (eg Whitney's story in East Enders, much as I think EE is mostly ridiculous, they do 'issues' well- and it is a much easier conversation starter than 'hey come and look what I've found on you tube'- DS would just say- 'why are you showing me this?')

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?

no objection to a 15 classification but not sure it will work- could easily be shown to younger children but only with a LOT of work around it

Do you think the video should be shown at school?
well, maybe, it all depends how it's done. You would be very reliant on the teacher having lots of additional knowledge (and skill)

anklebitersmum Sat 13-Apr-13 13:30:19

Would I show it?
No, it' a bit 'meh'

Cert 15
It's way too bland for a 15. This needs to be grittier by far if that's the target age, there needs to be a boy-orientated version and there should be a hard hitting reality check as regards how parents/families feel. Teens are intrinsically selfish after all.

Show in secondary school?
Yes, show this one from from year 7 but have a gritty one for year 9/10 and above.

donnie Sat 13-Apr-13 22:44:38

WOULD I SHOW IT? - my eldest dd is 11 and I think maybe she is still a bit young but certainly from the age of around 12 I would.

CERT 15? - I also think it is a little too safe. I think the drug aspect could have been made more explicit, as well as the prostitution /sexual exploitation.

SHOW IN SEC SCHOOLS? - for sure. I think it could catalyse a lot of very healthy discussion and debate.

retvet Sun 14-Apr-13 01:40:04

It's ok as far as it goes but too negative and not enough info on how to get help so this doesn't happen. By negative I mean it could be starting point for discussion If you need to run away or feel you need to how to access help and how to find help so you can be safe and more emphasis on how common it is to feel there is no way forward and how there is always another way if you can only find it. that would be what I would put in as that is really hard to find when you need help and feel really down and especially if you are really low. I personally would show it and watch it with my children when they were about 11. I don't think many children wouldn't have seen worse by the time they were 15.

Witco Sun 14-Apr-13 07:09:14


primroseyellow Sun 14-Apr-13 18:21:34

The film made me think of of a student project, trying to be arty and hint at issues rather than confronting them. It was far too vague to be meaningful. I know a YP who ran away at 17, because they just couldn't communicate with parents, didn't feel accepted for what they were, couldn't be the person parents wanted them to be. This film completely misses the point, ie the YPs reasons for running away in the first place. If they feel bad enough to want to run away no amount of telling them the dangers they will face is going to work.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now