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Violent and pornographic adult graphic novels at child height

(14 Posts)
LiterallyProblematic Fri 28-Feb-20 09:52:57

At my local book shop graphic novels are shelved on the bottom two shelves, immediately next to the teen and young adult section. Alongside these graphic novels are Star Wars books, and other titles which appeal you young children.
I've raised this and the shop has refused to do anything about it. We're going to escalate it, but I'm interested in this from a point of view of safeguarding. I'm trying to educate myself a bit better on this, so would love links to any relevant safeguarding information.
Is the book store contravening any safeguarding regulations/law by having pornographic, violent, misogynistic graphic novels where children can easily see them? Not only that, where children are drawn to see them, as they are very close to and often mixed up with children's graphic novels.

For info, so you know I'm not being a prude, a couple of examples, even though there are many, one of the books was A Handmaids Tale with drawings of her being raped, and another featured drawings of a man slicing off a woman's breast with a machete.

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NotAGirl Fri 28-Feb-20 10:15:18

No idea how you tackle it but that sounds completely inappropriate (and very grim)

Lowhum Fri 28-Feb-20 11:07:21

Could you get this posted in AIBU? Because YANBU.

DuLANGMondeFOREVER Fri 28-Feb-20 11:16:11



TreestumpsAndTrampolines Fri 28-Feb-20 12:14:55

Christ, no, that's not appropriate (this is why if we go in the comic shop I escort my kids - knowing the sorts of things that can be in them, even though they look just like a kid appropriate ones right near them - but as a comic shop, at least I know to expect it)..

I have no idea about any laws though, or what you could do to persuade them that it's relatively easy to make it better. Is it an independent or a chain?

LiterallyProblematic Fri 28-Feb-20 12:26:56

Good idea. I used to occasionally post in AIBU years ago, but it's not one for the faint hearted iirc

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LiterallyProblematic Fri 28-Feb-20 12:32:04

Treestumps, it's a massive chain. The nice people that work in store say they don't really have the power to make changes to the shelving and head office have just made excuses.
Forbidden Planet graphic novel/manga bookstore has around 400 'adult' titles online; presumably they are shelved sensibly in store, but I agree I would know to police this carefully with my children, but this bookstore has young children wandering around whilst their parents have sneaky 3 minutes skim read of a book cover.

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twistylittlegirl Fri 28-Feb-20 12:51:09

Would this not come under The Indecent Displays (control) Act 1981

Gibbonsgibbonsgibbons Fri 28-Feb-20 13:39:13

That’s awful- name & shame the chain?

Local council?

Goosefoot Fri 28-Feb-20 14:07:49

I'm surprised they were not responsive. I could see that this might happen because they didn't really think about it, but most adults don't want kids seeing this stuff.

Do they have many child clients? Some comic stores don't, and so maybe they think it doesn't matter? Have you actually talked to the owner or manager? Are you sure your complaint got to the right people or was passed on at all?

It might be worth sending a letter to the owner and manager and looking up any local regulations about that kind of material. Making it clear that the material isn't a problem overall just that some isn't appropriate for kids.

TreestumpsAndTrampolines Fri 28-Feb-20 14:14:00

Exactly - Forbidden Planet - you expect horror/pornographic models/comics. You know that it's majority adult focussed, with just some stuff that's for kids, so you keep them close.

Down WHSmiths (as an example - I'm assuming it isn't them actually), you let the kids wander and look for themselves, as children are expected customers - hence the YA/Childrens book sections.

This has to be head office - I think I'd take pictures, and tweet, share with national newspapers if they're not listening - and try to find the email address of any higher ups in the company and mail them directly.

Thelnebriati Fri 28-Feb-20 14:16:13

AFAIK there is only a voluntary code about the display of adult material written by the National Federation of Independent retailers.

The NFRN’s code of practice on displaying top shelf titles.

With the expressed permission of the publishers of adult top-shelf titles, the NFRN recommends the following Code of Practice:

Adult Top-Shelf Titles:
Adult Titles should be displayed on the Top Shelf only and out of the reach of children
Adult Titles should not be sold to any person under the age of 18 years.
Adult Titles should only be acquired from bona fide trade channels (on the basis that these will have been vetted by the suppliers’ lawyers for compliance with legislation)
Care and sensitivity should be exercised over the display of Adult Titles with explicit front covers
Members are also advised to be responsive to the views of their customers and, in particular they are advised that they are not obliged to stock these titles if they have objections on religious, moral or other grounds.

Other titles with front covers or content that may offend some customers
Although these are not top-shelf titles, we do urge members to be sensitive to the concerns of consumers, when they are advised to you. This often is in relation to the display of titles with front covers and/or content that may be inappropriate and may cause offence particularly if displayed at a young person’s eye-level or below.

To minimise complaints from consumers, without adversely affecting the sale of these titles, we recommend that:

You do not display them at children’s eye level or below to ensure they are not in the direct sight and reach of children.
Where display space restraints preclude the above, that titles with front covers (words, pictures or photographs) that may cause concern are part-overlapped with other titles so as to minimise the potential to offend

LiterallyProblematic Sat 29-Feb-20 00:27:07

@Thelnebriati this is amazing! Thanks so much! I will keep you posted!

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LiterallyProblematic Sat 29-Feb-20 00:27:59

@twistylittlegirl thank you, I’ll look in to that.

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