Action ‘critical’ in achieving cyber safety

Adults are being urged to act on behalf of young victims of cyber bullying. A workshop is empowering adults to take action when it comes to cyber bullying and exploitation.
Nanjing Night Net

The free eSafetyworkshop is the result of a partnership between the BYou City of Ballarat Youth Development Team and the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.

It is aimed at parents, and people working in youth education and welfare sectors, with a focuson the steps they can take whenrespondingto the online bullying of children.

Jodie Downey from the Youth Development Team said the office had significant powers to remove damaging online material such as hate pages and posts.

“(The office) has aclose alignment with all those big organisations such as Facebook and Twitter to be able to pull down material that is destructive and offensive, and that (power) never existed previously,” she said.

“You can access the office, put in a complaint and it is taken very seriously.”

Ms Downey saidyoung victims of bullying were oftenin a position where their self-esteem was low, andexperiencedfeelings of stress, depression and confusion.

She urged adults toadvocate for them.

“Very oftenyoung people don’t talk about these sorts of things until it is at a crisis point,” she said.

“So at that point it is really important that someone steps up and is in their corner and acts on their behalf, it is critical.”

Shesaid the policing role the office played was vital, especially in combating the harms of cyber bullying, which could have a “devastating” impact on the victim.

Councillor Des Hudson agreed.

“The impacts if these issues are notcontained or resolved, it could potentially lead to unlawful assaults, even much more criminal assaults, suicidal ideology and in the most tragic of outcomes, where a person will take their life,” he said.

In his role with Victoria Police, Cr Hudsonsaid there was alwaysdemand for cyber safety presentations at primary schools, secondary schools and parent forums.

One of the biggest difficulties for schools and communities was the uncertainty of who was responsible when it came to the online platform.

Despite these grey areas, Cr Hudson said local schools were “very proactive” in working throughissues with their students.

He also noted it was important to realise cyber safety involved everyone.

“We tend to think cyber safety is just a young person educational opportunity, when we know that there are more than 15 million Australians who regularly use Facebook and then other social media platforms as well,” he said.

Cr Hudson said if people were the victims of online bullying or harassment, to gather evidence by taking screenshots and keeping these ina folder that could be useful for law enforcement later on.

The free eSafety workshop takes place on Thursday, February 16, from 6pm-8.30pm at the Ballarat Art Gallery Annexe.

Registration is essential. For more information visit esafetyballarat.eventbrite南京夜网419论坛.

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