02 April 2009

"Beyond Chris and Rihanna": Chicago Youth Condemn Media Coverage of Domestic Violence

A short while back, two youth from Chicago-based Females United for Action (FUFA), a Ms. Foundation grantee, wrote a statement condemning the media for perpetuating the false idea that domestic violence survivors--like Rihanna--deserve to be blamed for their abuse. While many, including the New York Times, were wondering why a plethora of teenage girls seemed to be siding with Chris Brown, her alleged abuser, FUFA's response was right on point: young people internalize media coverage of this and other domestic violence incidents that shift responsibility from perpetrator to survivor.

Read "Beyond Chris and Rihanna" by Alex Pates (age 15) and Ansheera Ace Hilliard (age 17), also published online by the Chicago Tribune.

Listen to FUFA Organizer Manju Rajendran on Chicago Public Radio as she discusses the media's distortion of the Chris Brown-Rihanna story and calls on journalists to profile young women and genderqueer youth of color who are courageous, resilient, and powerful organizers against violence.

FUFA is a group of young women and genderqueer youth that uses media-justice work and other organizing tactics to speak out against gender-based violence. Last year, the Ms. Foundation for Women honored Yunuen Rodriguez of FUFA with the Marie C. Wilson Young Woman's Leadership Award. Watch a video that profiles Yunuen's inspiring commitment to youth-led social change.

Learn more about FUFA , an initiative of Women and Girls Collective Action Network.

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