Poverty vs. Poverty Porn

The media often shows the suffering that we don’t need to see, suffering that doesn’t bring an impact on individuals but only gives a bias opinion. What the media fails to show is the suffering we need to be aware of, the issues across the world such as poverty that aren’t brought to our attention unless we go out looking for the information.

Instead of the media focusing on the unwanted negatives, they should be focusing on issues that need attention to create change in the world. They should be focusing on issues such as poverty, domestic violence, depression and suicide; The critical issues that are impacting individual lives and should be use to educate others about particular issues within society and the world.

Jack Black travelled to Uganda and created a small documentary to help educate fortunate people, like us, around the world about the real issues. You can see his documentary below:

Even though the video has had 120,000 views on YouTube, it can be classified as an Impact Movement as the world needs to know about these issues. His campaign then joined with the Red Nose Campaign which focuses on ‘child safety and empowerment, attempting to end world poverty and help those who need it most’ (Red Nose Day, 2017).

The way I would describe Poverty Porn is images that have been captured and released to the media for fortunate viewers to look upon an image and feel good about themselves / the situation. It is something that should not be looked passed as something that gives us pleasure because we are more fortunate than another person.

Domestic Violence is an issue that the media doesn’t show enough of because they want to protect viewers and there are apparently better news stories to talk about. The media struggles to show the facts of how many people are affected by this and provide help the people who need it. While the government is helping by providing funding to Domestic Violence organisations and creating awareness, it can be questioned if they are doing enough for those affected. There are multiple services (but not limited to) Australia wide that provide support for victims, such as:

  • Domestic Violence Crisis Support
  • Domestic Violence NSW
  • Lifeline – Support line
  • Refuge
  • White Ribbon Campaign
  • Youth off the Streets
  • Salvation Army

Here are some statistics from ANROWS (2012) and Domestic Violence Prevention Centre (2017):

  • At least one women a week is killed by a partner/former partner in Australia
  • One in 19 men have experiences sexual or physical violence, compare this to the One in Six women that have experienced sexual or physical violence.
  • 58% of victims have never contacted the police
  • 61% of victims have had children in their care when the violence occurred.
  • 62% of incidents occur in the home.

Eminem and Rihanna’s song ‘Love The Way You Lie’ is an example of domestic violence in the media where it is used for entertainment aka Poverty Porn. When the song was released in 2010 it caused  an uproar because the video clip is a classic domestic violence scenario. MTV News wrote an article “Warns of the cycle of abuse”, they said; “One moment, a couple sleeps in each other’s arms, the next, they’re violently fighting, tossing bed sheets. Later they kiss passionately, pressed up against a wall the man has just punctured with his fist” (Thomas R, 2010). While some say it’s creating awareness for domestic violence and the vicious cycle that people put themselves through convincing themselves they their partner loves them, it may also encourage certain behaviours that are not accepted in society – but because they have seen it from popular artists, then they see it as okay. People listen to ‘Love The Way You Lie’ as entertainment/pleasure and are not seeing the bigger picture behind the lyrics and the video clip that provokes a situation of domestic violence.

The media needs to be cautious in the way that they represent domestic violence as it can cause major issues long term for struggling individuals that are victims or know someone who is.


If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service: 1800 737 732

Police: 000 or 112





Bryant W et al., Homicide in Australia: 2010-11 to 2011-12, viewed 27 March 2017, <http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/mr/21-40/mr23.html>.

Comic Relief, 2017, Red Nose Day – Our Impact, Viewed 20 March 2017, <https://rednoseday.org/our-impact/>.

Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc., 2017, Domestic Violence Statistics, viewed 20 March 2017, <http://www.domesticviolence.com.au/pages/domestic-violence-statistics.php>.

EminemVEVO, 2010, Eminem – Love the way you lie ft. Rhianna, viewed 24 March 2017, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uelHwf8o7_U>.

Hayden E, 2010, Love the way you Lie: What’s Eminem Trying to say?, viewed 20 March 2017, <https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/08/love-the-way-you-lie-what-s-eminem-trying-to-say/344563/>.

Thomas R, 2010, Eminem’s ‘Love the way you lie’ warns of the cycle of abuse, viewed 22 March 2017, <http://www.mtv.com/news/1645285/eminems-love-the-way-you-lie-warns-of-the-cycle-of-abuse/>.

VEXhomie, 2015, Jack Black brought to tears after meeting homeless kid, viewed 18 March 2017, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qreSf170bjk>.


Home Doesn’t Feel Like Home

Since returning home from The Netherlands and my other travels and having met amazing people, it has been hard to stay in contact. It was easy at first, we both would make time to chat and also be missing each other, but as time went on, our lives continued and we became so busy that it was months between conversations, and even then, the time zones were hard to deal with because you would be going to bed as they were waking up, so between my sleepy eyes and their tired waking eyes, it was hard to hold a conversation.

Relationships defiantly changed, I didn’t have the same friendship group when I returned to high school for my senior year, the connections I thought I made with my friends back home while I was away weren’t what they seemed. I had changed, I grew up, matured, while some friends seemed to still be immature and stuck in their own world. It was frustrating, all I wanted to do was spend time with friends, or have a decent conversation while I struggled with being home, but I couldn’t. This struggle made me connect with friends from overseas more. In this sense, I made other friends and connected with other people, which allowed me to open up.

I’ve been home for about 5 years now from the Netherlands, and I still speak to my host family. Very rarely, but we still catch up from time to time. My friends from the Netherlands don’t contact me much, but I always see what they are up to on Facebook, so it’s nice to a degree to still have those connections.

I’ve been back from the States for a couple of months now and I keep in contact with some my colleagues on a monthly/odd basis. Facebook and Snapchat keeps me updated with what people are up to, so there isn’t much to talk about when you do strike a conversation. When I head back to the States I know relationships will definitely have changed. One friend has had a baby since I left, I love Facebook and Instagram for this reason – being able to see pictures.

I think it’s clear to see that communication across time zones is difficult for some as they have to adjust to time differences when contacting friends and family from home. From experience relationships will always change because as you travel and experience different things from around the world, the people you left behind stay the same.

Click here to see Charlotte’s hopes of communicating with friends from abroad after returning home.