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CASPER Backs Government’s Cyber Bullying Proposal

CASPER Backs Government’s Cyber Bullying Proposal

4 April 2013 - CEO of CASPER (Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education and Research) Maria Bradshaw has experienced first-hand the impact of cyber bullying. Her teenage son committed suicide with cyber bullying being one of the contributing factors. Bradshaw says CASPER is hugely supportive of Minister Collin’s proposal to toughen up on cyber bullies.

“We think this proposal will send a strong message that bullying can be fatal and that the consequences of engaging in this behavior will come with serious consequences.”

Bradshaw says bullying of any kind creates an overwhelming sense of isolation and of worthlessness.

“Any bullying is bad but you can’t get away from cyber bullying. Feelings of being isolated and worthless have come up in research as being at the heart of suicide.”

But CASPER has a warning for the Minister that shows that bullies are also victims themselves.

“We believe that the government needs to be mindful that research shows bullies are often victims themselves and that bullies are even more likely than victims to kill themselves.”

Bradshaw says an agency to support victims and a process that will see the criminal justice system as a last resort is important.

“The reality is involvement in the criminal justice system is significantly associated with suicide so any new proposal needs to be balanced with an interim intervention first.”

CASPER runs community education classes that cover bullying.

“Parents concerned that their children are being bullied should focus on ensuring their child has a strong sense of belonging and being valued in their family. CASPER can help families act on this and we’re very happy to be contacted.”

More information about CASPER is available by calling 0508 CASPER or via www.casper.org.nz


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