Most of us consume 10 hours of media a day.  Do YOU ever wonder what the message behind the message is?  Decide for yourself.  Empower yourself. Read more about media literacy.

The Goal: To be able to identify how the portrayal of domestic violence in mainstream media (this pages focuses on film) reinforces myths about survivors and perpetrators. Use these resources to call attention to how intimate relationships are presented and to identify characters’ entitlement and misuse of power.

Domestic Violence and Media Literacy

Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media. Historically, ‘literacy’ has referred to the ability to read and write. But that doesn’t take us far enough when it comes to the complex messaging we receive everyday through a variety of media sources. Media literacy helps us think critically about the messages we’re receiving and understand how media messages shape our culture and society, our individual actions, and the way we view ourselves and others. 

All media messages are constructed. The following are the Five Key Questions of Media Literacy (developed by The Center for Media Literacy at designed to help you deconstruct any media message in order to recognize what the media maker wants us to believe or do, and decide for ourselves if we let that happen.

The Five Key Questions of Media Literacy.

  1. Who created this message?
  2. What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?
  3. How might different people understand this message differently?
  4. What values, lifestyles, and points of view are represented in, and omitted from, this message?
  5. Why is this message being sent?

We invite you to think critically about how relationships are are portrayed in the media. Look at the messages you see in films, TV, and other media sources, and ask yourself: What am I being asked to believe? And then decide for yourself what you DO believe…

More resources on Media Literacy

Check out this Quick Guide to Media Literacy available through the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault!

Check out this infographic that explains what to do if your cinematic crush is really a stalker. Egads!

Check out this report that Finds Wide Diversity Gap Among 2014’s Top-Grossing Films.