With students in Eden-Monaro returning to classrooms for term three, Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain has encouraged schools, parents, and carers to watch out for an increase in cyberbullying incidents.
Recent figures from the eSafety Commissioner show an 80 per cent increase in cyberbullying complaints between January and June compared to the same period last year.
Ms McBain said parents and carers should be alert to the signs that children may be experiencing online bullying and be aware of how to prevent and report cyberbullying.
“With kids returning to school after the holidays, now is the perfect time for parents and carers to think about the increased risk of cyberbullying,” Ms McBain said.
“As parents, the last thing that any of us want is for our kids to experience bullying, whether it is in person or cyberbullying. But the fact is, instances of cyberbullying are increasing and we need to be aware and prepared.
”Cyberbullying can take many forms including sending abusive messages, hurtful images or videos, nasty online gossip, excluding or humiliating others, or creating fake accounts in someone’s name to trick or humiliate them.”
The eSafety Commissioner has a wide range of tailored resources for children and young people, parents, carers, and educators to detect, prevent and respond to cyberbullying. eSafety also provides assistance for other online safety issues often faced by young people, such as image-based abuse (the non-consensual sharing of intimate images).
“These tools are designed to help parents, teachers and carers recognise when cyberbullying is occurring, and provide information on what they can do to help,” Kristy said.
For more information and resources, or to make a report, visit www.esafety.gov.au.