Latest News

Latest News

'Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls.' New Book.

1st of September 2009, 10:50 am

Director of Kids Free 2B Kids, Julie Gale, has written a chapter for a new book being launched this week.

Getting Real – Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls – edited by Melinda Tankard Reist and published by Spinifex, brings together some of the most vocal critics of the widespread pornification of culture.

The book will be available in most bookstores.

Contributors include:

Noni Hazelhurst – one of Australia’s most distinguished and respected actors, and well known speaker on children and the media.

Professor Clive Hamilton – Charles Sturt Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, based at the Australian national University – and former Director of The Australia Institute.

Dr Emma Rush – lead Author of the reports ‘Corporate Paedophilia: Sexualisation of children in Australia’ and ‘Letting Children Be Children’, both published by The Australia Institute in 2006.

Professor Louise Newman – Director of the Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology at Monash University, Melbourne.

Steve Biddulph – Psychologist and author whose parenthood books are in four million homes in 29 languages worldwide.

Tania Andrusiak – Writer and Editor and co author of ‘Adproofing Your Kids’ also being launched in September. (Finch Publishing)

Maggie Hamilton – Publisher and author of the recent book ‘What’s happening to our girls?

Dr Lauren Rosewarne – Lecturer in public policy in the school of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Author of Sex in Public: Women in Outdoor Advertising and Public Policy.

Other contributors – Dr Abigail Bray, Dr Melissa Farley, Selena Ewing, Dr Renate Klein, Dr Betty McLellan,

Cotton On withdraws offensive slogan babywear

15th of August 2009, 5:20 pm

On July 22 The Herald Sun reported that Julie Gale Director of Kids Free 2B Kids called for Cotton On to withdraw it's sexualised slogan babywear.

Cotton On Group marketing manager Emily Checinski said "...there's definitely a place in our society for provocative humour that pushes the boundaries".

New Zealand groups joined in the debate and called for people to Boycott the store.

Another Cotton On slogan baby t-shirt  - 'They shake me' - was discussed in the media yesterday. (14/8/09)

Later in the afternoon, The Australian newspaper announced that Cotton On would finally withdraw much of it's slogan range.

 Julie Gale has this to say:                                                                                                            

Issues like the sexualisation and abuse of children aren't humorous. They are serious.       Retailers, marketers and advertisers need to wake up and recognise that the community has had enough. They all need to be proactive in their responsibility to children, instead of only taking action after community outcry.

  • Adult sexualised innuendo/humour does not belong on children's/baby wear. It should be a no-go zone!
  • Children/babies become billboards, and this is involuntary exposure for other kids, siblings and  friends to receive those messages.
  • One of the strong messages is that this is OK. It's's normal.
  • It's part of the normalisation & desensitisation of what many academics are calling the pornificaiton of society and is symbolic of the broader issue of the sexualisation of children.
  • Sexualised messages have become so all pervasive in our society that there are no longer any boundaries. It is no longer the preserve of adulthood.
  • When retailers happily promote 'edgy' and 'provocative humour that pushes the boundaries on babyswear - then it is a clear sign that we have crossed a line.

The Hon Alistair Nicholson in The Age

6th of August 2009, 10:47 pm
The Hon Alistair Nicholson, former Chief Justice of the Family Court has an edited version of the paper he presented at the KF2BK and ACCM Sexualisation of Children seminar held in Melbourne on Aug 4 2009 published in The Age newspaper 4/8/09. Click here to read the article .

2Day FM Radio stunt backfire

31st of July 2009, 7:52 am

Printed in Letters to the editor, The Age Newspaper, July 31

More signatories have been added to the original  15.

Media Statement 

Fourteen year old rape victim violated again by radio stunt.

Child advocates call for protections for children in the media.

The lie detector radio stunt on 2Day FM involving a 14-year-old girl who revealed she had been raped at age 12, was a gross violation of her human rights.

The girl, Rachel, was strapped to a lie detector test, to be interrogated about school, drugs and her sexual experience by Austereo's Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O and the girl’s mother.

Rachel was deliberately subjected to fear and distress. Her protests that she was scared and that it wasn’t fair were ignored. 

It is the height of irresponsibility to hook any child up to a lie detector test. This is compounded when the intention is to expose a girl to a live outing of her sexual experience. 

Regardless of any excuses about lack of advance knowledge that the girl had been raped, there is little doubt the aim was to publicly shame the child.

A young girl’s sexual experience is not relevant or appropriate for the entertainment of anyone.

Dragging a child onto the media stage to be interrogated with a lie detector about her sexuality is a horrific invasion of her rights. There is a well founded legal assumption of vulnerability and a need for protection of children at this age, which the station has ignored.

This form of public outing and humiliation is abhorrent and must be condemned.  There needs to be a penalty.

What took place in the radio studio was child abuse and should be acknowledged as such. Increasing desensitisation to the needs of children needs to stop.

This program should be axed. 

We call for a national strategy for the prevention of child abuse and exploitation, including in the media.

The Hon Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC, Former Justice of the Family Court and Founding Patron, Children’s Rights International

Tim Costello, CEO, World Vision Australia

Steve Biddulph, psychologist and author

Professor Louise Newman, Director, Monash University Centre for Developmental Psychiatry & Psychology

Maggie Hamilton, teacher, author, What’s happening to our girls?

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Adolescent psychologist

Barbara Biggins, OAM, Hon CEO Australian Council on Children and the Media

Professor Elizabeth Handsley, Professor of Law, Flinders University

Clive Hamilton, AM, Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics

Noni Hazlehurst, AM, Actor, child advocate

Julie Gale, Director, Kids Free 2B Kids

Dannielle Miller, CEO, Enlighten Education

Carla Meurs, Co-ordinator, Solving the Jigsaw

Dr Renate Klein, women and girls health activist

Melinda Tankard Reist, Editor Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (forthcoming).

Dr Judith Slocombe, CEO, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation

Brother Paul Smith, AM, CEO The Lasallian Foundation

Bill Jackson, CEO, Children's  Rights International

Bernadette McMennamin,  AO, CEO, Childwise.

Suzanne Dvorak, CEO, Save the Children.

 July 29, 2009

Media Enquires: Julie Gale: 0412922253, Melinda Tankard Reist: 0414305378

David Jones sprung for ads sexualising children

31st of May 2009, 6:24 pm

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws completely vindicate claims by The Australia Institute that retailer David Jones used advertisements that sexualised children as young as 10, according to advocacy group Kids Free 2B Kids. The documents reveal a brief asking for girls aged 10 and 12 to be "more adult and sexy". The girls appeared in an Alison Ashley advertisement created by the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi for David Jones.

"Saatchi & Saatchi hired a top law firm to fight tooth and nail to prevent these documents being released but, after a year-long battle and various appeals, the NSW Ombudsman has finally ordered that some of the material be handed over", said Kids Free 2B Kids Executive Director Julie Gale.

At the time David Jones vigorously denied accusations in the Australia Institute's report, Corporate Paedophilia, claiming the company would never eroticise children and had policies to prevent it. The company sued the Institute and its Executive Director, Dr Clive Hamilton, under the Trade Practices Act but,subsequently dropped the action.

Saatchi & Saatchi responded to the Institute's claims in 2006 saying: "We have never, ever eroticised children in any way for any client in any communication. Not only is the idea repugnant to us, we take very seriously the fact that David Jones is a family brand."

"We now have proof that while David Jones and Saatchi were issuing strong denials they had in fact presented young girls who had been deliberately made to look sexy", said Ms Gale. "The Alison Ashley advertisement that featured in the Good Weekend was the one singled out by the Australia Institute as beyond the pale. The Australia Institute and many others could see that the girls were being eroticised, why couldn't David Jones?", she said.

"The child models who were asked to adopt sexually provocative poses were betrayed, and so were their parents, who entrusted their children to those responsible," she said

Ms Gale called on David Jones to issue apologies to the children, their parents and the Australia Institute.The FoI request was made to the NSW Office of the Children's Guardian which regulates the employment of child models. The Office approved the advertising brief even though it indicated that the young girls would be posed as "slightly more adult and sexy".

DJs & Saatchi approved sexed-up kids. So why come after us? Clive Hamilton. Crikey. 2/6/09


Julie Gale To Speak At Generation Next

16th of March 2009, 4:00 pm


KF2BK founder, Julie Gale, will be one of the speakers at the Generation Next seminar series which will be held at various locations around Australia this year. Click here to find out more about the program location and dates.

Shell/Coles Express say no to p-rn

26th of November 2008, 12:39 pm

Kids Free 2B Kids Media Release 26 Nov 2008

Shell/Coles Express says no more p-rn with petrol

Kids Free 2B Kids congratulates Shell/Coles Express for removing Category 1 R-rated p-rn magazines from its nationwide outlets, following the same move by BP last week.

Kids Free 2B Kids has investigated and exposed the availability of porn promoting sex with young girls, rape and incest, via convenience stores, petrol stations and milk bars, over the past two months.

Director Julie Gale said that many of the magazines depicted young girls who appeared to be under 18 or were dressed to look younger, in accessories such as pink headbands, pigtails, school uniforms, braces and soft cuddly toys. Many magazines also depicted graphic sex acts, which are not permitted in Category 1 under the classification guidelines.

"This is an abhorrent genre of p-rn and producing and selling these magazines promotes and validates child sexual abuse," Ms Gale said.

Captions such as ‘Tender Teenage Tw-t', ‘C-m on my Braces', ‘C-m Hungry Virgins,' ‘Freshest Teen Sl-ts' and ‘F-ckable Flatties Special' appear on magazines such as ‘Live Young Girls', ‘Teen Angels', ‘Barely Legal', ‘Finally Legal' and ‘Petite'.

"Shell/Coles Express and BP have both made appropriate and responsible decisions given the content of the material. It is a welcome change to see such action, and I urge convenience stores and milk bars to follow their lead." Ms Gale said.

The issue has been highlighted by Kids Free 2B Kids and Melinda Tankard Reist of Women's Forum Australia and was also raised in recent Senate Estimates.

"The Federal classification system and its State and Territory enforcement arms need an overhaul. They are not working," Ms Gale said.

BP removes p-rn from shelves.

20th of November 2008, 5:44 pm

Julie Gale Director of Kids Free 2B Kids writes:

KF2BK congratulates BP Australia on its decision to remove category 1 R-rated magazines from their stores.

Excerpt from BP letter:

"...we have decided to remove all R-rated materials at all company owned and operated stores. This decision was taken on the basis that we were not comfortable with the titles of some of the range nor did we feel the material was consistent with our company's values.

Whilst our 250 company owned and operated stores are our largest and busiest stores, we have brand/wholesale agreements in place at around a further 1150 stores across the country where we do not directly control what is ranged for sale. However we are in the process of making contact with all these sites to make them aware of BP's clear stance on the sale of R-rated magazines and strongly encourage them to review their own ranging."

This is very good news and we hope that Shell/Coles and other petrol stations, convenience stores and milk bars follow.
The sale of p-rnographic magazines that incite s-x with minors is utterly unacceptable.

The important message is that speaking out does make a difference!

For more information regarding this issue please read ‘latest news' articles below dated 21st of October and 17th of September.


Shell, BP stretching p-rn boundaries: MP

21st of October 2008, 10:23 am

Julie Gale Director of Kids Free 2B Kids writes:

It is time for a major overhaul of the classification system. Magazines are being incorrectly classified and distributors are flouting the system. This means that hardcore p-rnography is available in corner stores, milk bars, petrol stations and newsagencies.

The issue was raised Monday 20 October in Parliament during Senate Estimates.

See below for a report from Yahoo News.

Read below (Latest News 17/10/08) for Kids Free 2B Kids media release titled 'Attorney Generals must act on corner stores that encourage s-x with minors'.

Shell, BP stretching p-rn boundaries: MP
October 20, 2008, 5:50 pm
Yahoo News

Shell and BP petrol stations are engaged in a rort to sell p-rnography that stretches classification boundaries, a Liberal senator says.

Julian McGauran said corner stores and service stations were abusing the classification system controlled by the federal government.

"There is a rort going on in convenience stores, service stations, Shell, BP, all the major service station shops," Senator McGauran said.

"Category one classification is being abused."

Category one allows a publication to be sold over the counter, sealed in an opaque wrapper.

Senator McGauran raised his concerns while questioning bureaucrats from the Classification Review Board during senate estimates hearings on Monday.

Earlier, Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce tabled a collection of hardcore p-rnography, saying it was readily available in petrol stations.

Senator Joyce raised concerns the p-rnography was encouraging p-dophilia.

"These have received classification, it pertains to an insinuation that these girls are actually underage," he said.

The classification board's acting director Olya Booyar was grilled for about an hour on just what was being done to counteract the publications.

"The board doesn't go looking for publications which should be submitted (for classification)," Ms Booyar said.

Enforcement of classifications was a state and territory government responsibility, one bureaucrat pointed out.

Update on S-x Billboards.

14th of October 2008, 10:03 am

S, part of a three-letter word that spells trouble

October 13, 2008 - Sydney Morning Herald

Julie Gale Director of Kids Free 2B Kids writes:

The Advanced Medial Institute have pasted 'CENSORED' over part of the word s-x, on their 'Want Longer Lasting S-x?' billboards, flouting requests by The Advertising Standards Board to take them down.
It shows that they have no clue, or regard for the reason the billboard should have come down in the first place.
Not because some adults are offended - but because it is harmful to children.

The ASB ordered the billboard down some weeks ago.
We know from comments at the recent senate inquiry, that the ASB has never consulted a child development expert when deliberating on complaints made about billboards.

Given that many of the complaints made about the AMI advertisements have to do with concern for children - one would have thought, that in this instance they would have sought expert opinion.
Allowing the AMI to keep these billboards displayed shows a blatant disregard by the ASB of their potential impact on children.

S, Part of a three letter word that spells trouble.

S, part of a three-letter word that spells trouble

October 13, 2008 - Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald. 13/10/08
by Julian Lee

THE advertising watchdog is to investigate a poster aimed at circumventing a ban on the use of the phrase "longer-lasting sex".

Billboards with the word sex covered by a "Censored" sticker have attracted complaints from the public, triggering an inquiry by the Advertising Standards Bureau. The new posters replace the original ad, which was pulled down last month following an about-turn by the bureau, which was forced to overturn an earlier adjudication that gave the ads the all-clear.

The company behind the ad, which promotes a treatment for erectile dysfunction, said it would defend the revised ad when it came before the bureau's board of experts this month.

The chief executive of Advanced Medical Institute, Jack Vaisman, said: "The bureau's about-face on community standards must be worn by us - every billboard across Australia will be replaced, at a significant cost to the company."

Mr Vaisman said it was frustrating that his ads, which promote a cure for a medical condition, were singled out while other ads using nudity, or sex to sell products escaped censure.

The complaints centre on the fact the letter S is still visible. The bureau's chief, Alison Abernethy, did not wish to be drawn into pre-empting her board's decision. The board will have to weigh up whether the ads breach the industry code, which stipulates that sex and nudity are treated with "sensitivity to the relevant audience".

A child advocacy campaigner, Julie Gale, said the new ads showed the advertiser was not serious about complying with the earlier ruling.

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