Show solidarity: Don't forward violence

Monday, December 8, 2014
Have you ever received a message with photos or video of someone being violated or humiliated?

What did you do with it? Did you pass it on? Did you press delete or report it? Did you think about how you were implicated in the violence once you held that image in your hands?

Many people think that it's OK to forward material like this. They argue that the damage is already done and that they are just doing what everyone else has done already. But every act of passing it on is another act of violence.

What does forwarding mean for the victim who has to live with the knowledge that her violation and trauma is being distributed and viewed by others? Each viewing replicates the original violence, perpetuating harm.

  There are many ways to bear witness. When you see, you affect what is being seen, and it affects you. How do you witness violence against women? Are you a spectator, interested only to be shocked or entertained? Or are you engaged in creating a more just and equal world that is free from violence against women?

The key differences between documenting violence and forwarding violence lie in how we locate ourselves in the act and question our role in perpetuating or ending it, and what action we take after we witness.

We ask you to make a commitment to stop the spread of images that perpetuate violence. Take a stand. Don’t forward!
1. Take the pledge by adding your name.
  • I will NOT forward any form of message, video or photograph of someone being violated or humiliated.
  • I will NOT forward any form of message, video or photograph that violates another person's right to privacy.
  • I will NOT forward violence.
2. Make it known.

Wear one of the "I don't forward violence" badges found here and here.

  • Right click and save the image or simply drag to your desktop. You can also add your own text to the blank badge.
  • Change your display picture or avatar as a commitment to this pledge.
  • Or print it out and wear it! You can make badges out of many things:
    • Recycle an old button badge by pasting a new design over it.
    • Glue the design over a bottle cap and glue or tape a safety pin to the back. To make it last longer, varnish over the design or stick clear cellophane tape over it.
    • Cut out a circle from an old box or used milk carton. Glue the design over one side and stick a safety pin on the other using cellophane tape.
    • Make a cloth badge. Stitch or draw the design with a waterproof marker on fabric and stick your safety pin through the back.

Put it on and start a conversation! Better yet, make more badges and hand them out.

Show solidarity with women and girls who have experienced violence. Don't forward violence. Instead, disseminate calls to stop it.