Continuing on her anti-bullying crusade, social activist Monica Lewinsky, in partnership with BBDO New York and Dini von Mueffling Communications, has launched #DefyTheName, a new PSA for National Bullying Prevention Month.
The PSA takes on the most common type of bullying behavior, name calling. The video features celebrities referencing the hurtful names they’ve been called to bring attention to the growing epidemic of bullying.
“From personal experience I know that one of the most insidious effects of bullying is the feeling of isolation. Especially for vulnerable populations, like our youth, it’s feeling alone and suffering in silence that breaks down confidence, degrades self-worth and leads to even worse consequences,” says Monica in a press release announcing the campaign.
FACTS You Should Know
A United Nations Children’s Fund report released this year found that nearly half of 13- to 15-year-olds around the world (150 million adolescents) have experienced bullying or physical violence from peers.
A study last year in the journal Pediatrics estimates that bullying causes 1 in 5 teen suicides.
The Center for Disease Control reports that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death (after unintentional injury) for adolescents age 15-19.
In addition to the video PSA, #DefyTheName is encouraging those on social media to change their name (not username) to reflect their bullied name (i.e. John “Bullied Name” Doe) and share the campaign’s PSA and/or their own story. “The net effect is to flood social media with a community that proves that bullying and name-calling don’t reflect one’s real self-worth. It especially sends a powerful message to teens: Don’t let the name define you.”