Volunteer Vacancies

Aug 13, 2014 by

Child Eyes is expanding our work to include widespread awareness amongst parents and young people of media sexism, sexualisation and violent imagery. We are hopeful that we can attract funding to achieve real culture change.

We aim to do this by becoming a registered charity and by producing a range of resources. We’re pleased to announce the following volunteer vacancies.

Charity Registration Officer

We are looking for assistance with out application for charitable status and guidance of how we manage our charity. The key skills we need/desire are,

  • Experience in the voluntary sector, particularly of making charity registration applications and/or managing/maintaining a charity.
  • Experience of being a Trustee or reporting to Trustees.
  • Good understanding of the Charity Commission.
  • Good understanding of reporting criteria and effective management of charity accounts.
  • Reliable, supports our aims, friendly and team player.

To apply for this role, please email through the contact us link with a cover letter explaining why you would like to work with Child Eyes and a CV.

Marketing Officer

We are looking for assistance with our marketing materials. These will mainly be flyers and fact sheets.  The key skills we need/desire are,

  • Experience of designing marketing materials such as flyers and fact sheets.
  • Understanding of audience and marketing.
  • Understanding of campaign work and the voluntary sector.
  • Reliable, Supports our aims, friendly and team player.

To apply for this role, please email through the contact us link with a cover letter explaining why you would like to work with Child Eyes and a CV.

We also welcome any support with our social media. If you have experience of using social media in a campaign/business capacity please contact us.

 

 

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Blue Inc Activism

Jun 18, 2014 by

People power can do this!

Teeshirt-Poster (1)blue in 9blue inc 13bluinc lanesbluinc lanes 1blue inc 11

Your fantastic letter writing and activism is key to the success of this movement and we need you to raise the roof on Blue Inc and their range of sexual and sexist t-shirts that are on display on our high streets and  being worn by thousands of people, flooding our public spaces with sexual imagery.

ballsThere are loads of ways in which you can get involved!

Here is a letter to send to your MP and your Police and Crime Commissioner. This is by far the best action to take, we need Blue Inc to be bombarded with letters from those in power. Blue Inc letter

You can contact Blue Inc here http://www.blueinc.co.uk/customer-services-i3

You can Tweet @BlueInc @ChildEyesUK #lovefootballhatesexism You can sign this petition  http://tiny.cc/ekhnhx

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blue inc 15

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The World Cup does not = public outpouring of sexism #lovefootballhatesexism

Jun 11, 2014 by

Teeshirt-Poster (1)

 

It’s the World Cup and retailers are ruthlessly marketing sexist, sexualised and misogynistic t-shirts.

Thousands of children will see these t-shirts is shops, on public transport, in parks and other public places.

If, like us, you believe children should not have to see sexist, sexualised and misogynistic t-shirts with a World Cup theme, please sign this petition:

http://bit.ly/UqgjrS

balls

You can also join us @ChildEyesUK by tweeting @BlueInc

Why not contact your MP and ask why there is still no legislation in place despite clear government  research showing links between sexual objectification and violence against women and  girls: http://bit.ly/1ojfloG

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During the World Cup violence against women is predicted to rise by 38% according to Police figures. Should we be encouraging the sexual objectification of women and girls, particularly at this time?

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Football is a great game enjoyed by many children and families. Let’s send positive messages about sport and equality.

Help Child Eyes kick sexism out of football!

#lovefootballhatesexism

nb. T-shirts above are from the Blue Inc Range except the last one which is in 32 Joy stores nationwide @joythestore and one in the graphic from @riverisland. Burton and Primark also stock a range of similar t-shirts.

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See The Sun

May 16, 2014 by

“So you’re telling me that I can still see The Sun, I can still browse it and I can still buy it but children won’t be able to see it?”

Yes.

“Well, that’s disgusting. It is completely trampling on my freedom.”

Since we began campaigning we have heard similar versions of this old chestnut and we didn’t expect anything less when Co-op’s members overwhelmingly voted to place The Sun on the top shelf. Every article, every interview has to include this installation of fear by throwing its hands up and screaming that this is a denial of freedom.

So what is this freedom we keep hearing about?

Let’s look at this in reverse.

Who asked us whether we wanted to see words like bastard, sex scandal, sex victim, sex shock, sex romp, sex, sex, sex when we want a pint of milk in our local shop?

We don’t remember being consulted about that one.

Who asked us if we wanted our children to be bombarded with sexual poses, pouting lips and underwear under the guise of news when they want a Peppa Pig magazine?

Erm, no, nobody asked us about that either.

When were we free to decide if we wanted the largest and most widely circulated media image of a woman to be topless and sexualised?

No, we definitely never got asked that question did we?

Imagine if you received a letter asking you if all this was alright, if you minded exposing your child to material like this. Would you say you are happy about it? We seriously doubt it.

So, we never actually had the freedom in the first place. We never had the freedom to choose not to have this in our lives, we just had it.

We have now reached a tipping point where people are questioning what they are seeing and rejecting the idea that we must put up with it for freedom’s sake.

When we talk about freedom in these terms, we are really talking about a handful of people who own the media and their freedom to make money. We are really defending the rights and freedoms of those people who use the media to trample upon our own rights and freedoms.

Of course we do not want to censor free speech but freedom comes with responsibilities too. This may be a word that David Dinsmore has never heard before but it is something that parents have to consider in practically every aspect of their lives. It is also something that is considered on TV and radio because there is an appreciation that children can be affected but there is some missing link when it comes to newspapers. They seem to have an absolute freedom that does not exist anywhere else in society and parents cannot turn it off or as David Cameron so politely put it, ‘turn the page’.

The purpose of freedom of speech is deeper than us having the freedom to know if someone called John Terry a pig or to see and criticise Kerry Katona’s body one month after the birth of her baby.

It is not about a right to learn that Helen Flanagan has breasts and that those breasts look identical to those featured on the other 364 days of the year.

It means so much more than this.

It means the freedom to challenge and that is exactly what we are doing. The actions that Child Eyes and No More Page Three are taking are free speech. We’re standing up and freely speaking about the removal of our freedom to choose what we want to see from our media and in our shops.

The whole thing is about freedom.

We salute the Co-op’s members for being responsible and voting to preserve our freedom as parents not to have to expose our children to sexual and violent material for the purpose of making lots of money for a handful of people we will never know or meet.

By categorising The Sun as top shelf there will be a culture shift whereby we will no longer view it as normal to display soft porn in the eye-line of children and that we as a society will no longer accept this as news.

We don’t see how this can be stamping on anyone’s freedom. We think it is the complete opposite and that it enhances freedom since we would be able to choose whether our children see The Sun or not.

Parents who don’t fancy explaining sexual objectification and sensationalised, titillating sexual stories to their children in a shop may soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief when their children beg to go up the magazine aisle.

Even if this change to positioning of The Sun does happen, those who still want the freedom to generate profit for people in the ‘sex sells’ media still can. Adults will still be free to choose a version of free speech that covers crucial issues such as the shocking fact that footballers have sex and women wear underwear (or don’t in the case of p3) but this does not have to be at the expense of children’s welfare.

www.faceboook/childeyes

Twitter @ChildEyesUK

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#Rapecomics available to children in a library near you. *Trigger Warning*

May 2, 2014 by

*Trigger warning*

Graphic novels available to children

Child Eyes received a shocking email this week about graphic novels. We had not even heard of the phenomena before our superhero supporter Louisa alerted us. She sent us some photocopies she took of the 15 novels she took out on her children’s library cards (ages 7 & 9.) Our team were shocked  at the content and how simple it is for children to borrow these books.

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There are countless horrific depictions of rape, severe sexual violence, degradation of women, child abuse, prostitution and the whole theme is power over women, oppression and the constant threat of sexual violence.

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The story in one novel is that a female soldier humiliates another soldier and so he vows revenge. He rapes her. In another story, a female superhero joins a gang of male superheroes. She is raped, then raped by another, then told that she was only allowed into the gang for fun and because she would look good with ‘cum’ on her face.

comic 5Teenagers are reading this material!

There are clear links in recent research between children’s exposure to depictions of sexual violence and damage to their psychological and social development. These as the conclusions of Professor Kevin Brown, Chair of Forensic Psychology and Child Health in the Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology at the University of Nottingham, in his latest research into sexual violence in the media and its affect on children.

Also the Children’s Commissioner’s report ‘Basically Porn is Everywhere’ found that children are more accepting of violence against women after reading or watching violent and sexualised media.

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Louisa confronted her local library in Harpenden. The issue was taken seriously and the novels have moved from display by the children’s books to a high shelf by the librarians. Further, Hertfordshire county council have taken the move to program the self-service machine to recognise the novels and to act in the same way that they do with DVDs of an adult nature.

This is great news for Hertfordshire but Child Eyes is campaigning for all libraries to remove these images from children’s view and to safeguard under 18′s from being able to take out these novels. We will also campaign for such novels to be age rated.

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We believe in freedom of expression but we do question what this type of material contributes to society. Are realistic drawings of rape and sexual violence,

Entertainment?

Education?

Titillation?

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Guest blog, Trauma and #Rapemags by Jane Evans

Jan 6, 2014 by

The campaign for magazines and newspapers with explicit words and images relating to rape, incest, sexual violence and sexualisation of women and children is about one thing, protecting children. Few could, should or hopefully would disagree that we all have a moral responsibility not to bombard children with content which they find confusing, troubling and even traumatic. Why then are ‘family’ supermarkets ignoring and even heaping derision on requests to put such materials out of the direct eye line for our youngest most vulnerable members of society?

Cynically I assume it’s because that’s what marketing has dictated is the optimum level to catch everyone’s attention and make sales, therefore, profit for the retailer. Consider then the situation where a child who has experienced rape, sexual abuse, incest, domestic violence or other abuse catches sight of an image which re traumatises them? Or, it might be a parent or relative caring for them who has lived through it themselves or via their child’s abuse. What does it do to them and why should a supermarket or store ‘care’? For a start because as leading childhood trauma expert, Dr.  Bruce Perry (2003), tells us,

By the time a child reaches the age of eighteen, the probability that any child will have been touched directly by interpersonal or community violence is approximately one in four.

They should care about the well-being of their customers as triggering trauma can make someone very ill, leading to the need for medical intervention, or in the worst case suicide. Although it sounds a bit dramatic, in fact many people live with deep rooted trauma which they manage but it can easily be triggered and unlike anxiety in an average person this can make someone mentally and physically very unwell. Our body stores trauma in ways we do not fully understand yet via our senses so a glimpse of a picture or word can set of the fear/threat cycle in an adult or a child and if they have lived through or are living with abuse this will not last for the normal 45 minutes it does for most of us but for an extended period becoming increasingly unbearable.

Traumatised people often resort to alcohol, prescription and non-prescription drugs, self-harm and other numbing harmful behaviours to distract them from endless whirring thoughts, aching tense muscles, feelings of panic, inability to sleep or relax at all. If they then have to leave a store with children and get into a car and drive home and care for the children what might that lead too? Who wants responsibility for any outcomes which stem from something which could be so easily avoided simply by moving a few magazines or newspapers?

Whilst adults and children who have been traumatised by abuse are highly unlikely to be able to approach anyone to complain about the very publications which may cause them real harm, I have been wondering if eventually people will be able to litigate against organisations that blatantly leave publications in full view of children, despite the perils of this having been highlighted to them. What if the harm it is doing to them can be proved in a court of law and was entirely preventable, could it even be considered as a customer ‘mental health and safety’ issue? What if it can be linked to a child self-harming, suffering a severe relapse in terms of their mental health or a parent having an accident as their trauma had been triggered and they were not fully in control of their car, after all once the fear/threat cycle is activated it is a struggle to think and concentrate.

Maybe this sounds extreme and alarmist but as someone who has worked for 20 years with victims of all kinds of abuse I have seen how tenuously survivor’s mental well-being can be despite their very best efforts. As I said, for the sake of covering a few magazines and papers and a bit of shelf shuffling surely those who have survived the worst deserve that small consideration from organisations they depend upon for the basics in life?

References

Perry, B MD, Ph.D.  2003 Effects of traumatic events on children, Child Trauma Academy http://www.mentalhealthconnection.org/pdfs/perry-handout-effects-of-trauma.pdf

Jane Evans

Trauma Parenting Specialist

http://www.parentingposttrauma.co.uk/

 

 

 

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Complimentary Patient Porn

Dec 13, 2013 by

She said, “It’s nothing to do with me” as the complimentary patient porn on the TV played oral sex in the accident and emergency waiting room. When did porn become acceptable in hospitals? 2013?

My colleague, Jenni, took her daughter to hospital for an operation. During the worrying wait, she sat down in the hospital café owned and run by Costa. It happens to be Costa’s company policy to provide The Sun, containing a fresh pair of breasts, every day for the gazing male eye. The disappointing weariness of the battle to put sexual imagery in context occasionally requires a lighter approach. Jenni scribbled a bra onto the model and we tweeted away with yet another example of porn culture in the UK.

Following this, a supporter had contacted North Bristol NHS trust about providing boobs as news in a place where women can be having a mastectomy or breastfeeding tiny new mouths. Child Eyes were immensely surprised and delighted to hear that the Chief Executive took a brave stance and removed The Sun from the hospital. As we celebrated the news, we wondered if we were winning the battle after all and that every action counts to change a culture of ‘sex sells’ media being thrust into the public domain.

A couple of days later I was dropping off to sleep when my baby daughter woke crying. I dragged myself out of bed to discover her almost unable to breathe and coughing a bark. That dreaded parental fear groped at my mind and we rushed the little mite to casualty. She perked up and started to look at the books in a brightly painted children’s room. She picked a book up containing various characters in uniform, a policeman, a fireman and other men having careers and a female pop star and nurse, all white of course. I rolled my eyes at my partner and son and gently placed the book at the very bottom of the pile hoping that I had saved a few young heads from gender and racial stereotypes.

The Doctor came in to check my baby over and told us that she has Croup and that we do not need to worry – RELIEF. We gathered our things together and left through the main waiting area.

Directly in front of us was a wide screen TV which we all were drawn to and in disbelief viewed full sex and oral sex. We passed by and as we left through the automatic doors, I glanced back to see it was porn. For a moment I wondered if I had actually fallen asleep and this was one of my regular Child Eyes related nightmares. Was this real life? Was I really standing with my fourteen year old son watching porn on the TV in a hospital?

I dashed back with adrenalin flooding my body. At the desk I looked at the receptionist with confusion and pointed to the screen. “What is going on?” I said. “It’s nothing to do with me” she replied in a defensive manner. My face crinkled and I said, “well what can I do? Who can I speak to about this”? Her answer was simple and disgraceful that I had to write a letter. Another damn letter! I looked at her and tried my best not to shout as I said firmly, “You need to turn that off, now”. She fumbled around behind the desk and found the remote. She told me to turn it off and passed the remote. As she did so, she knocked a button and the complimentary patient porn disappeared.

I settled my wheezing, barking bundle of joy back to sleep and called the hospital. My partner had checked the TV and realised that it was the film, Basic Instinct. The duty manager was just as astounded as I was and apologised profusely. She said they will take this seriously and get back to me. Great news but we cannot unsee. Had my daughter been older, say seven or eight, she would have never seen porn (or would she in an age where porn is norm?).

This experience represents a bizzare coincidence as the Hospital were unaware that I am part of a national campaign to prevent the public display of porn. It serves to show us that as the Children’s Commissioner title suggests, ‘Basically Porn is Everywhere’.

If I ever doubted the cause or if I was ever perturbed by being called a menopausal, hysterical, Victorian prude, I never will again.

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FCUK and HMV victories!

Dec 6, 2013 by

We are so pleased to announce that in the last month alone, we have achieved two major successes!

HMV have removed all sexual posters from their range. There were around ten overtly sexual and explicit posters displayed next to Disney Princess, Moshi Monsters and One Direction! Following a lot of hard work and discussion, HMV agreed with Child Eyes that the display was entirely inappropriate and have removed from every store! People power. Thank you to all supporters who emailed and tweeted.

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FCUK have removed their ‘Sketch to Store’ ad campaign from shop windows across the country. The Child Eyes team battled relentlessly to ensure that these very young, naked models did not continue to be displayed. The reason we did this was because the images we deliberately sexualised and some almost child like. Research into body image and school bullying shows that such images have a profound effect on youngsters. At first, FCUK told us that they were proud of the displays and that they deliberately pushed boundaries. Child Eyes supporters refused to accept this and tweeted and emailed furiously. FCUK finally agreed that their ads, while some were arty, we unacceptable on the High St. Well done all supporters.

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Child Eyes’ Kirsty responds to a not so classy argument

Oct 18, 2013 by

A classic divide and conquer technique attempts to undermine the sheer grit and determination of the Child Eyes campaign. Rich and/or ‘posh’ presenters, publishers and glamour models are looking to enrage the working class with the suggestion that middle class, rich and posh women want to restrict the Working Man’s reading material. How dare those damn women? Cue outrage.

However, there is huge lack of truth and irrelevance in this argument. It serves a purpose as those making profit from the industry are not able to say what they really mean. What they mean, but cannot say, is that profit comes before children’s welfare and that prominent positioning of sexual material increases sales. Child Eyes is asking for sexual material to not be on display in public, family areas – not an outright ban on porn. This is such a contentious issue because there is a great deal of money to be made through contracts with retailers over the positioning of pornpapers and sexual magazines.

The lack of research on The Wright Stuff yesterday, for instance, is astounding. Wright referred to Kathy (Child Eyes co-founder) as poshee mum. He failed to mention the 23,000 supporters on this movement who are from all walks of life. They did not ask us what our team is like either. We would have told them that we have mothers, fathers, students, teachers, psychologists, MPs, people from various backgrounds and a working class charity worker. That would be me.

I started campaigning back in October last year prior to meeting Kathy (who is actually a passionate, down to earth, loving mother). I did it because I love my kids and want them to grow up in a world where sexism, sexual harassment, unhealthy sexual attitudes, rape culture and misogyny do not exist. I am working class, yes that’s right, Wright, I am working class and yet I am still capable of having a brain and being a good mother. I am also capable of looking rather posh in my tweed suit at Downing St that I bought for £1 at my local charity shop but I don’t attempt to hide my Black Country accent. The truth is that our team and our supporters do not judge each other by where we come from, how much money we have or where we grew up. We simply work together for the benefit of the next generation.

I find it deeply offensive to hear that not only middle class female campaigners should be scoffed at but also that working class people are being discussed by rich fat cats in terms of their lack of parental responsibility or inability to understand objectification (it is a long word for the likes of us). The argument put forward by Toby Young on The Daily Politics show this week follows that the working class want this material and that rich people should let them have it wherever they want it. This is an absurd a stereotype of the working class as it is of the middle class.

We could discuss this for weeks but the truth is that while we are focusing on differences between social classes we are being diverted from the issue that huge industries are exposing all children to more and more explicit sexual material for profit.

So the argument should really run like this (if we wanted to be sensational too): “Fat cats impose forced viewing of pornography onto children in grocery stores” or “Multi million pound industries choose profit over children’s welfare”.

The class argument smacks of desperation which tells us that we are very close to change.

Celebrate folks, we are almost there!

Kirsty

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Special Delivery Service to No 10

Oct 7, 2013 by

downing st petition

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Child Eyes Protest!

Sep 26, 2013 by

demo poster 1

We do hope you will join us. Here are a few more details;

Fancy dress is optional, you may just turn up and take photos. The more the merrier and we need loads of footage for social media.

We aim to minimise the risk of exposing children to sexual imagery. We do have banners containing sexual imagery and will cover parts of them with our Child Eyes logo. We will have lots of these and lots of blutac. Remember that all of the images we will show are legal and in almost every newsagents and supermarket in the country. We need to show the sheer incongruity of it and make an impact.

It is a good idea to laminate your banner so that the blutac comes off and in case it rains.

When we reach Downing St, we must protest across the road in Richmond Terrace.

We will then be removing the eyes from our banners and showing the true extent of the problem

We will have stewards either side of the road to warn passers by if they have children that the protest is not suitable for young eyes.

The Child Eyes team will be going into Downing St at 1pm.

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Co-op shows that it can be done, easily!

Sep 12, 2013 by

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Here is Kirsty’s local Co-op. Kirsty saw The Sport and Lad mags in the eye line of children here back in October last year. The staff were unable to make changes due to Co-op policy. This situation spurred the start of the huge campaign Child Eyes with Kathy from Local Mums Online.

After many emails, meetings and hard work, we can now say that this Co-op is fully family friendly. We have given them a poster for the window to celebrate their wonderful stance on being family friendly.

Well Done Co-op!

We are making changes.

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