The definition of Victim:
- 1. A person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency: a victim of an automobile accident.
- 2. A person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency: a victim of misplaced confidence; the victim of a swindler; a victim of an optical illusion.
- 3. A person or animal sacrificed or regarded as sacrificed: war victims.
I have been marketing my book Branded to parents and adults so far, because of the subject matter and the message I want to share which is – talk to your children about stranger danger and, you can make a difference. However, I don’t want to overlook the teens and young adults for whom Branded was written.
More and more teens today see themselves as victims or damaged goods. They have either tried or know of someone who has tried committing suicide, overdosed on drugs, sniffed, threatened a teacher, brought a weapon to school, was bullied, beaten, raped, interrogated, or displayed on some social networking software against their will. While others feel they’re stupid, misunderstood, or just don’t fit in. They all fall into the number 2 definition of victim listed above. They feel deceived, used or lied to by everyone from parents to friends and teacher, just ask them.
Teens today are also witnesses of mental and physical abuse of their peers. Sometimes they see it up close, other times from a distance, but they are usually a firsthand witness. Mostly because of the plethora of people they are connected to through the community and those that enter their lives each day as acquaintances. The teens today may be young, but they hold more knowledge of the real world than most adults care to admit. Furthermore, when it comes to sex, drugs and violence, they could probably teach adults a few things on what is popular and what is not, and where to find it.
Branded taps into this mindset in a way that relates to teens and the violence they see every day. It sends the message to be aware of your surroundings and get involved if something is not right. Say something to someone. Help a person in need. If they ask you not to get involved, get involved anonymously, but don’t put your life in danger. Sometimes the best thing is to just be their friend and talk through the problem. Who is going to understand what a teen is going through better then another teen.
There is also another definition that a small number of young adults fall under as victims and that is numbers 1 & 3. Kidnappings and runaways do occur and some are even killed because of it. Today, many teens are facing peer funerals at an astonishing rate. (My 15 yr old niece had 2 this month alone.) Something needs to be done about it. I am doing what I can but I cannot do it alone. I need your help. Take an active role in your community. Get involved!
It only takes one person to make a difference and a group of the same mindset to change the world.