FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 14, 2010
FVPF: Luci Manning, 202/371-1999
NFLPA: Jilane Rodgers, 202/255-5874
Ohio Teen Named Winner in National That’s Not Cool Contest to Help Teens Stop Digital Dating Abuse
That’s Not Cool “Callout Card” Contest Winner Attending NFL Players Gala in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. – Lara Beck, a junior at Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio, is the winner of a national contest to design a new “Callout Card” – a brief, creative message in “teen speak” that raises awareness about preventing digital dating abuse. The contest is part of the That’s Not Cool campaign, a national public service awareness effort designed to help teens recognize digital dating abuse and take steps to prevent it. The contest is sponsored by the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). As the Grand Prize winner, Lara is attending and walking the red carpet at tonight’s NFL PLAYERS Gala in Washington, D.C., which honors players for their commitment to team, family and community.
The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), Advertising Council and R/GA launched That’s Not Cool last year. Each month the campaign generates nearly 70,000 website visitors, and thousands of those teens send That’s Not Cool Callout Cards (e-cards with a brief message like the one Lara created) to their friends and dating partners.
“I’m so excited that I won this contest and that I get to go to the NFL PLAYERS Gala,” 16-year-old Beck said. “Dating violence is a serious issue and I designed a Callout Card to convey, in a straightforward way, that teens who are in bad or dangerous relationships should get help and get out.” Read more about Lara’s winning entry at www.endabuse.org.
Digital communication is central to teens’ lives and relationships. With these new technologies come the risk of digital dating abuse, which includes unwanted, repeated calls or text messages; hacking into e-mail; spying on social networking accounts; or being pressured to send private or embarrassing pictures or videos.
“Our That’s Not Cool campaign has reached thousands and thousands of teens like Lara, all across the country, helping them recognize that controlling behavior can cross the line and become abuse,” said FVPF President Esta Soler. “We are delighted with Lara’s powerful and creative entry, and so proud that she is representing the campaign at the NFL PLAYERS Gala. Her Callout Card will help start conversations about textual harassment and digital abuse, give teens the tools to recognize and talk about it, and encourage them to define what is and isn’t okay.”
“Our organization and the players we serve understand the importance of education and prevention as it relates to dating violence. In addition to this contest, another effort that we’re particularly proud of is a book called ‘Dedicated to Daughters,’ which will hit stores this June. The NFLPA led the way in making this book happen by teaming with Triumph Books, A CALL TO MEN and NFL Player Development to demonstrate our commitment to this issue. The book will feature special photographs of players with their daughters alongside inspiring personal accounts, reflections and thoughts about fatherhood and manhood. All proceeds will be donated to nonprofits dedicated to ending violence against women,” said Teri Patterson, NFLPA Special Counsel to the Executive Director.
The four runners-up, Liz Burton from Melrose, MA, Andrea Hovetter from Carlisle, PA, Madeline Rauch from Lexington, SC and Thadeus Bradley from Whitesburg, GA each received autographed NFL memorabilia. Honorable mention winners received That’s Not Cool t-shirts and NFLPA hats. Teens age 13 to 18 were eligible to enter the contest. The FVPF received entries from teens all around the country.
According to Technology and Teen Dating Abuse Survey, 2007 (conducted by Teen Research Unlimited and Liz Claiborne), one in three teens say they have been text messaged 10, 20 or 30 times an hour by a partner wanting to know where they are, what they’re doing, or who they’re with. One in four teens in a relationship have been called disparaging names, harassed or put down by a partner through cell phones and texting. More than half of teen girls (51 percent) say pressure from a guy is a reason girls send sexy messages or images, and 18 percent of teen boys say pressure from a girl is a reason (Sex and Tech Survey, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2008).
That’s Not Cool includes an interactive website at www.ThatsNotCool.com, mobile phone component, television, radio, posters in schools and malls, and online ads all designed to help youth recognize digital dating abuse and give them tools to avoid it. At www.ThatsNotCool.com, teens can find resources to “draw their own digital line” and a forum to discuss this form of abuse and seek help. That’s Not Cool is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence against Women.
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ABOUT THE FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND
The Family Violence Prevention Fund works to end violence against women and children around the world, because everyone has the right to live free of violence. More information is available at www.endabuse.org.
ABOUT THE NFLPA
The NFL Players Association is the exclusive collective bargaining agent for all players employed by clubs of the National Football League. Founded in 1956, the NFLPA works to ensure that the rights and interests of NFL players are protected. In addition, the NFLPA strives to be a valuable resource and to maximize player opportunities on and off the field through membership programs and community activities. For further information, visit www.NFLPLAYERS.com.