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People Against Violent Examples(PAVE) is a yearly program which is marked on 12th of February. PAVE is a coalition of people (volunteers) from all walks of life across the globe, who stands against any form of violence. The campaign is aimed at educating and creating awareness of not viewing violent acts or scenes on TV and/or not engaging in any form of violence for one day.

The program comes off annually, and this year promises to be one of the most successful in its awareness creation. PAVE informs the public on the dangers of violence viewing on TV, Video games etc. and why people must try to avoid violence scenes. Many studies have proven that witnessing repeated acts of violence could influence you to choose violence as a means of solving conflicts. How does this show self-control? The answer is, it does not.

Two major areas of influence in media entertainment are television (movies) and Video games. Although both of these forms of entertainment can be positive, they are more likely to be a source of influences. Did you know that according to the Nielsen Media Research 2000, ‘the average child between the age of 2 and 17 watch approximately 19 hours and 40 minutes of TV a week?’. That is almost an entire day every week in front of the tube. Here is another bit of information concerning TV viewing. The amount of violence on television is on the rise. By the age of 18 years, the child would, on average, have viewed 200,000 acts of violence on television.

The content of movies is basically identical to what is on television, except that the violence is more graphic. What was the last movie you saw? On a scale of 1-10 where ‘1’ is no violence and ‘10’ is a lot of violence, what score would you give it? If you are like most people, your score will be somewhere between 8-10.

It appears that violence and action continue to attract moviegoers. In fact, the more action and violence the movie contains the more people will want to see it.

Another significant source of violence in entertainment comes from video games. With modern technology, video games have become more realistic and interactive than ever before. Currently, there are games that simulate violence so realistically that they incorporate the sound of breaking bones. Visual effects include gushing blood from mortal wounds.

Video games have become a very popular form of entertainment. Some people have been known to play them for hours at a time. They have themes that allow players to ‘work for the mob, hijack cars and kill cops and civilians. ‘Other video games allow the player to be part of the mob and run a prostitution ring, carry out gangster style executions and sell drugs. Other objectives include running civilians over in high speed car chases, and being a gang leader who has the power to execute other gang members and members of rival gangs.

Many people say that entertainment today is just harmless fun. ‘Surely, looking at violent movies and playing violent video games will not affect my character. I can still control myself.’ Can you?

According to numerous studies, witnessing acts of violence harms the minds of children and young adults like you. Yet, children routinely watch acts of verbal and physical aggression, murder, rape and theft on television. Witnessing repeated acts of violence leads to what is known as desensitization. In other words, seeing people get hurt in the movies and video games lessens one’s ability to care about people when they get hurt in real life.

In fact, desensitization makes it more likely that people will respond with verbal and physical aggression when angered. Violence then becomes an accepted way to deal with situations that are frustrating or upsetting. Instead of using self-control to consider appropriate ways to handle a disagreement, people who are accustomed to watching violence on television are more likely to be physically and verbally aggressive. They develop the mentality that violence is a ‘normal and acceptable part of life’ and they see nothing wrong with pushing, hitting, and yelling in order to get their way.

Imagine, if all could stop watching violent scenes on TV and try to feed our minds with positive scenes, we and especially our children will live peacefully and develop strong affection for people which will in turn bring in the fellow-feeling, responsibility and mutual respect. PCEF would like to call on all who care and is willing to support this worthy initiative to come on board to help push this great work.

Together we can make a difference

"Self-Control is the foundation of moral behavior. When you practice self-control you stop and carefully consider whether your thoughts and feelings will lead to actions that are morally correct and in your best interest"

PSCEP, Unit Three-Self-Control