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Vodafone & Netsafe Partner To Fight Txt Bullying

Vodafone & Netsafe Partner To Fight Txt Bullying

Vodafone New Zealand and NetSafe today launched a campaign to stamp out TXT bullying among school students.

In a first for New Zealand, the two organisations have partnered to provide young people with tools to help combat TXT bullying – someone to talk to and the ability to stop the TXTs.

“We’re very concerned about reports of TXT bullying and are committed to helping young people fight this,” says Vodafone general manager of communications and sponsorship Lynley Kirk-Smith.

“We want to make sure that young people don’t feel helpless and ensure that they’re aware of the practical steps they can take to help themselves if they are dealing with TXT bullying - as well as knowing that Vodafone and NetSafe can also help them.

“With NetSafe, we’ve developed brochures and posters about how to handle TXT bullies. These will be sent to every school in New Zealand as well as libraries and cinemas throughout the country to ensure that young people know exactly what they can do to stop TXT bullying.”

The posters and brochures encourage young people to call NetSafe, 0508 NETSAFE (or 0508 638 7233), if they need to talk to someone. NetSafe has experienced staff to help young people through troublesome situations such as TXT bullying.

Director of NetSafe Liz Butterfield said she was pleased to see a major organisation such as Vodafone taking a stance on bullying and was delighted to be working with them on this initiative.

“Bullying is a vicious, awful thing to do and if this campaign helps empower children and parents to combat it, that is a great step forward,” she said. …/2

“A UK survey showed that one in four young people in Britain had been subjected to bullying either via text or email and that many of them never reported it. If they had, their telecommunications provider could have taken steps which is why it’s so important to let people know if this is happening to you.”

Vodafone also has the ability to bar a customer from the network if they are using their mobile inappropriately.

“That means that with the combined services of NetSafe and Vodafone, we’re sending a strong message that TXT bullying is not the done thing and that the two organisations will do everything they can to support young people to stop it”, says Butterfield.

Other tips that the brochures and posters recommend are: not replying to unknown numbers don’t give your number to people you don’t know telling parents or friends if you’re being bullied.

Kirk-Smith says that as a result of the massive growth of mobiles in New Zealand, Vodafone feels they have a responsibility to their customers to help them deal with serious situations like TXT bullying.

“It’s great to be working with NetSafe as they are the experts in this area and can offer our customers a huge amount of knowledge and expertise”.

As well as schools, the brochures are also available on request by calling 777 free from Vodafone mobiles or 0800-800-021.

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