If You Really Knew Me

You have undoubtedly seen the recent news stories highlighting the prevalence and severity of bullying and violence among students within US schools. Its fair to say, no community is immune to this growing social problem.

Recently, MTV announced a new summer series called “If You Really Knew Me”, which documents students at schools around the country learning to value and appreciate each other through focused exercises and activities aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of one another.

The primary focus of the series is on bullying and not explicitly about dating violence. However, we know that bullying and dating violence have the same risk and protective factors. While primary prevention of intimate partner violence focuses on gender stereotypes and how rigid gender roles contribute to dating violence, it is important to spend time talking about how all stereotypes affect us and recognize that all forms of oppression contribute to violence within our society. Racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism, classism all factor into how people may or may not treat one another.

Here are some questions to ponder: Where do the ideas and messages that make up stereotypes come from? How does it feel to be categorized or placed in a box that you don’t identify with?

Kudos to MTV for creating this series and showing how Challenge Day is one step in the process for true social change. You can view the trailer here.

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