Archive for February, 2011
Many of the Joyful Heart retreats involve the healing power of water. One of the most convenient bodies of water is sitting in your home! That’s right, your bathtub. A warm bath has many healing qualities; quieting the mind through relaxation, soothing aching muscles and providing an overall sense of cleansing the body.
Looking for ways to get even more out of your bath? Try dimming the lights or turning them off and lighting a candle (perhaps an aromatherapy candle), leave your phone in the other room on silent, play some soothing music and add your favorite bubble bath for a calming scent.
Our favorite bubble bath (shower gel and shampoo, too) is philosophy’s Joyful Heart peony and Heart of the Season cranberry scented bubble bath. So not only will your bath be relaxing but it will benefit Joyful Heart too. Each purchase results in a donation to JHF.
PLUS Philosophy participates with GoodShop.com, use it to buy your Joyful Heart, Heart of the Season, or any of philosophy’s other great products and 2.5% of your purchase is donated to JHF at no cost to you!
Hi, everyone! My name is Ella. I am seventeen years old and I have been involved with the Joyful Heart Foundation for almost two and a half years. I first became involved when a school project of mine about change turned into an event that raised over $10,000 for Joyful Heart. Recently I have been raising awareness about the backlog of sexual assault evidence in my state by writing my legislators and talking about the backlog at Kentucky youth government assemblies (KYA).
Today, however, I am a guest blogger for JHF’s get involved blog (something you may have already figured out). I will be blogging once a month until the end of June about different ways that you may be able to get involved in raising awareness and advocating for the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. In later blogs I will talk about event planning and more specifically about getting involved as a teenager, but for today I want to talk about an issue that must be tackled on a smaller scale.
Sexting is an issue that has, within the last few years, become increasingly prevalent in the news and has become a rampant problem among teenagers with camera phones. Sexting for those of you who may not know, is the sending or forwarding of nude, sexually suggestive or explicit photos (athinline.org).
From my own understanding of the issue, and from my experience as a high school student, sexting is so prevalent that it is often an expectation in a dating relationship. Why? Because sexting is easy. Someone can do it and delete the conversations and/or pictures without parents or friends ever having to know and sexting doesn’t run the same risks as other forms of sexual interaction. This mentality among young people is dangerous and flawed.
Sexting is boundary-less and its damage is theoretically limitless. In two seconds an angry partner can forward compromising pictures to his entire contact list. One risque picture can completely smear someone’s reputation and hold major consequences for the sender/receiver/photographer. Any picture taken of a minor who is nude or photographed in a sexually provocative way is considered child pornography. Those involved in the production or those in possession of such pictures can and in many cases will be subject to severe legal consequences, consequences which range anywhere from a misdemeanor to time in jail and a spot on the sex offender registry (depending upon the state).
As a teenager I want to put forth an effort to prevent this behavior among those in my school. I know it is scary to stand up against your peers and even your friends to make the right choices or speak out against the wrong choices; however, if we don’t say anything, if I don’t do anything to try and educate my friends about the dangers of sexting, and I not partially to blame for this pandemic?
Maybe that is not the question we should be trying to answer; maybe the really question is what can we do?
Well, here are a few ideas:
- hang poster with statistics and facts in your school hallways (be sure and ask permission before hand) Check out thatsnotcool.com for sample posters
- bring the topic up/ ask your teacher to bring the topic up in your health/sex ed class) You can use the tips and sample letters on Dosomething.org to help you write a letter to get Teen Dating Abuse curriculum in your school. You can also get your parents or loved ones involved or request free curriculum from Love is Not Abuse.
- set clear and firm boundaries in your dating relationships, and don’t date someone who is unwilling to respect those boundaries… if someone truly cares for you and is worth your time, they will respect you.
- DON’T PRESSURE YOUR boyfriend or girlfriend to send you pictures.
- Turn off the cell phone at 12:00 a.m. The saying, “nothing good happens after midnight” applies to cell phones too. I promise it’s not the end of the world, my parent’s rule is 11:00 p.m., and the texts are still there in the morning.
- Have a viewing party for you and your friends where you watch athinline.org’s documentary on the consequences of sexting, then discuss the topics and information presented and talk about not only what boundaries you can set for yourself, but how you can support one another and hold one another accountable to those boundaries. Check out their PSAs too.
- Check out 11 Ways to Use Texting to stop dating abuse
- Last but certainly not least, if someone forwards you a sext, DELETE DON’T FORWARD, and let that person know that you are not okay with him/her forwarding you similar pictures.
I hope you found some ideas that work for you, or that you can share with a teenager in your life. Tell us what you are doing to stop Sexting and Teen Dating Violence in the comments below.
*Editors Note: If you’re inspired by Ella’s post and have any questions or comments, please post them below or submit them through Joyful Heart’s request line at email@example.com.