Laughed so hard I got furious
COMEDY IS THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL ACTIVISM
Who in their right mind would lead the charge for child survivor rights with humor?
Well Kelly Thorne, founder of the Child Safety Act, has never been accused of being your standard-issue activist.
And with survivor rights still so regressive she realized: when you've got nothing to lose, you've got everything to gain.
No one is laughing at sexual abuse. But in this age of TikTok and Instagram, sometimes if you want to capture the attention of the masses, you've got to make 'em laugh. And if you want that call-to-action to be potent, a guffaw can be more powerful than a tearful PSA with sad scruffy kids in camera obscura.
The Child Safety Act goes against the grain and takes a comedic tongue-and-cheek spin on the topic, all to promote the legislation the movement is advancing. The proposed legislation boldly pushes for the removal of ALL statute of limitations against child survivors of sexual abuse (e.g. the legal time limits placed on victims who want to take their perpetrators off the street). The movement highlights the archaic restrictions all states have in place.
WHY SO SERIOUS?
Thorne explains: "We've all seen the blue-toned PSA's with weeping kids asking us to support child rights, but the laws are still the same. It's time to flip the message on its head.
The subject is hard for me to think about, so how can I expect other people to?
Why don't we make the subject palatable by using humor?
Why don't we use a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down?
I'm much more inclined to watch or read something if it's funny, so I figured other people would be too."
The Child Safety Act website looks like a first gen website. On purpose. Thorne commented: "We want to simplify the issues and have the website reflect that." Kittens and kinetic peacocks lead us through the site and reveal the legislative information. Thorne said it took her a long time to comb through the confusing laws surrounding the issue. She simplifies the information and reveals it in a palatable (and not depressing) way. It's a tough subject, revealed in a decidedly lighthearted approach.
The website has a picture of a grandma who asks us "what would your grandma want you to do?" Would a sweet grandma want us to sit idly by and do nothing or get the h#ll up and make the world a better place? The sites' videos are framed in oldfangled frames you might find at your granny's house. "We are conveying that this is a home, like grandmas house. You can be comfortable here, even with the uncomfortable feelings the topics might bring up.
The logo features the founder, Thorne, as a child with a censor bar over her eyes. Many survivors don't come forward or remain anonymous to conceal their identity from their perpetrators. Thorne is still afraid of retaliation form the person who hurt her. The censor bar represents the masses of survivors still hiding their truth. It is reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar's triple platinum album cover, good kid m.A.A.D city (pictured right). The Child Safety Act movement is about good kids in maddening cities that maintain mad archaic laws.
The logo also features a parental advisory stamp, commonly seen on explicit album covers, but repurposed here as a warning to parents that laws in America don't protect children.
Kelly suffered years of abuse at the hand of a caregiver. In her 20's she decided she was ready to take action and take her abuser off the street, but she was shocked to find out that there are laws in place all across America that restrict people from taking their perpetrators to court (a.k.a. the statute of limitations).
"The abuse began at 4 and in my home state of Oklahoma you only have 10 years to take someone to court. I was still living with my abuser at the age of 14. Who would expect a child to take their caregiver to court while they're still living under their roof?"
The person who hurt me is still on the street.
He is not a registered sex offender,
so he could be living next to you and your kids
and you wouldn't even know it."
All states have restrictions against children.
There is no statute of limitations for murder (that's why there are cold cases).
So why is there a statute of limitations against little kids?
Who do these laws serve?
Thorne avowed: "Believe me, the last thing I want to do is talk about the most painful thing that ever happened to me,
but if I don't, nothing will change.
The Child Safety Act's mission is to explain the problem and the solution in the easiest, most palatable way.
there is a statute of limitations against children
get rid of it
"I want to make sure everyone can understand this. No legalese mumbo jumbo. No highfalutin words. Simple facts in an easily digestible form."
"We've cried enough. It's time to laugh. Then act."
LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE
Thorne was inspired to have a light take on a serious issue by trailblazers like Nobel Peace Prize winner Amanda Nguyen and comedian and Emmy winner Amy Schumer.
Nguyen (left) partnered with Funny or Die to create a video that pointed out the backwards laws against sexual assault survivors (view here). The sketch received millions of views and the movements' change.org petition subsequently gained over 100k supporters. Soon after, the legislation became the 21st bill in modern U.S. history to pass unanimously through Congress.
Amy Schumer brought light to gun laws with her skit The Gun Show (view here) which served as a tongue-and-cheek PSA about gun laws and call to action for gun safety.
"Doing nothing is being complicit.
Everyone has the power to change the laws.
At our fingertips.
We just have to decide to do something.
It's ok to laugh.
Take it from a survivor; I give you permission."
Kelly Age 4
Kelly Age 14
YOUR PHOTO HERE