Cyber bullying is a complex contemporary issue affecting our young people with devastating consequences for the victims and their families. A strong legal framework is essential, but the law alone cannot effect the cultural change necessary to reduce the frequency and harm caused by modern methods of bullying behaviour.
It has been estimated by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner that in the 12 months to June 2016, 19 per cent of teens and eight per cent of children were cyberbullied. The cyberbullying ranged from being socially excluded, being called names, receiving unwanted online messages, having lies spread about them, receiving threats to their safety, having their accounts accessed without their consent, having personal information posted without their consent, having inappropriate private photos posted of them without their consent and even having someone impersonate them.
Centre Alliance will make it a priority to protect the safety of children in the digital space. We must protect those who cannot protect themselves. We can provide children with strategies and tools to stay safe online so they can experience the benefits of the internet without being at risk of the dangers. Centre Alliance is committed to providing prevention through education.
Sonya Ryan, founder and CEO of the Carly Ryan Foundation is a leading e-safety advocate is an accredited Safety Provider with the Commonwealth eSafety Commissioner. Sonya has pioneered education and awareness of online safety for children for over 10 years following the death of her beloved daughter, Carly, at the hands of an online predator and her expertise demonstrates that the Carly Ryan Foundation is well placed to provide prevention programs.
Examples of what needs to be done:
- Develop an emphasis on the prevention of cyber bullying through improved education in schools.
- Ensure that a robust complaints process is maintained to provide victims and witnesses of cyber abuse with an avenue for raising their concerns.