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Classification Office consulting on sexual violence in entertainment media

August 05, 2016 at 10:54 AM

Classification Office consulting on sexual violence in entertainment media

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

The Office of Film and Literature Classification is consulting on sexual violence in entertainment media such as films, television and games.

The initial part of the consultation is focused on hearing feedback from young New Zealanders. Focus groups with teenagers have been organised in Wellington and Auckland by Colmar Brunton with support from Wellington’s Sexual Abuse Prevention Network and Auckland’s Rape Prevention Education. Colmar Brunton will produce a report from this work in the coming months. In addition, the Classification Office is conducting individual interviews with young people over a 12-month period.

The Classification Office is also consulting with social workers, teachers and community organisations working with young people, academics and other experts. The discussion document Young New Zealanders Viewing Sexual Violence (PDF, 835KB) is available on the Classification Office website.

Project leader Lexie Kirkconnell-Kawana says the findings will inform the Classification Unit when making decisions on appropriate restrictions and warnings for depictions of sexual violence.

Lexie Kirkconnell-Kawana said “We’re also wanting to find out the sorts of things in entertainment media that might mitigate these impacts and harms. Can certain depictions of sexual violence be positive or empowering for young people? The impact on young people of sexual violence in entertainment media has not been well documented so we are very keen to share our findings with other groups and organisations working in the field of sexual violence awareness and prevention.”

Chief Censor Andrew Jack said it was just as important to understand the public views as it is to consider research: “In this way we can best serve the public good by providing guidance about, and protection from, harmful content – as identified by New Zealanders. As with people in other countries, we have our own views about what might or might not be harmful, and our national classification system allows these views to be heard.”

See a snapshot of some of the views of young people interviewed in the research.

For more information, contact the Office of Film and Literature Classification.