‘Crushed But Okay’ is a campaign advocating for healthier online intimate relationships, where rejection can be talked about without stigma. It has been co-designed with young people aged 15 to 20 from schools, sporting clubs and gaming groups, and aims to help young men (mainly aged 15 to 17) feel okay about rejection, to help make it easier to spot, and to get everyone talking about familiar experiences, in respectful and authentic ways.
Too many young women get hurt by actions and words of sexualised nature online, by young (and older) men. A year-long youth engagement process that young men rarely talk about common rejection experiences with their mates, which can lead to unhelpful ‘all or nothing’ thinking and unsocialised feelings of shame. This is reinforced in popular stereotypes and media. We believe this is one of the many complex reasons some men harm women online.
The campaign promotes the strength in understanding ‘no’, the strength in having healthy, fun, and open dialogue with mates about rejection, and the strength in challenging unhelpful stigma… being rejected is no one’s fault and there is no “right way” to do dating or relationships. You can do everything ‘right’, but it still might not work out the way you want, and that’s okay.
Sometimes reactions to rejection cross the line - if you or someone you know experiences harm online, you can get help here:
1800 Respect (call 1800 737 732 or chat), Kids Helpline (call 1800 55 1800 or chat), or connect with ReachOut NextStep chat.
‘Crushed But Okay’ was created by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation in partnership with Swinburne University of Technology. The campaign is part of an eSafety Online Safety Grants Program – an Australian Government initiative.
To learn more about our approach to putting young people’s rights and needs at the centre of the project and campaign design, you can visit the Safety by Design principles or request a copy of the project’s Literature Review here.