Paul Parkinson has made a powerful statement about the effects of bullying on victim and family with his movie Nowhere Safe. Cyber-bullying, especially among high school teens, is a new form of terrorizing your target victim. The movie, inspired by true events tells the story of two teen girls, who victimize their target by pretending to be her. Using her name and online ID, they use social media to write vile and cruel comments and lies about the people in her town. The girl's reputation is so destroyed, and the consequences of her perceived actions so brutal, she and her school teacher mom are forced to flee their home town. Starting a new life is another place is the only thing they can do since no authority seems to be able to stop the torture they endure.
The epidemic of cyber-bullying is too real. According to statistics, more than 25 percent of teenagers report they have experienced bullying via their cell phones and social media. This is in addition to the 335 teens who have reported receiving online threats. Fifty-five percent of those under the age of 18 who use social media have witnessed outright bullying through technology.
Anyone who is truthful about their childhood remembers instances of bullying in one of two ways. They were either the victims of violence themselves or they had been unwilling witnesses to a bullying incident. The fact is, bullying has been an unfortunate fact of life for too many generations of children. Technology has made bullying easier for the perpetrator; he or she can now hide behind a computer screen to do their dirty deed.
The actors, Kelsi Cullimore and Angelique Cooper, do a more than credible job portraying the bullying teens Mel and Alana. Their roles as the "mean girls" are chilling to observe. Danielle Churchran as their victim Ashley and Natasha Henstridge as her mom Julie give excellent performances as well. In truth, Parkinson filmed the movie in an honest and forthright way showing the effects of bullying on the victim, her mother, and all involved.
Let me also commend the wonderful acting done by Jamie Kennedy as history teacher Kevin Carlisle, Jeremias Elvegaard as Max, and Tatum Chiniquy, and Nick Gaisford as Carrie and Nick. Natural and realistically portrayed characters make this film relatable to teens.
That the character of Ashley finally stands up for herself when bullying starts in her new school is refreshing and a much-needed reminder that we have it within ourselves to choose when to make a stand and defend ourselves. Bullies are, at heart, cowards, who only torment those whom they feel cannot fight back.
The entire movie was an excellent anti-bullying message and praise must be given to Paul Parkinson for creating, with the help of these fine actors, a perfect insight into the cruel world of the effects of bullying. Well-done indeed. This should be shown in all high schools during the National Anti-Bullying Week which is November 17th through November 21st .
Read the new thriller For I Have Sinned: A Cate Harlow Private Investigation