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Cyber Bullying: building a safe environment for our youth

Cyber Bullying: building a safe environment for our young people

Youth development organisation, Youthline is pleased with the Law Commissions proposal to criminalise Cyber Bullying.

The Law Commission’s paper recommends creating a new criminal offence for sending offensive or harmful messages on sites like Facebook and Twitter and sending hurtful text messages.

Youthline’s National Spokesperson, Stephen Bell says having a clear law in place will be a positive step towards creating a safer environment for young people.

“Having a law articulates an expectation – having clear expectations means we can build a strengths based environment for our young people which says cyber bullying is not ok and there will be consequences for anyone who doesn’t adhere to those expectations.”

Bell says creating a new law would be a huge step forward, but says a community effort is needed to help maintain safe use of cyber forums.

“In order to challenge bullying, we need families, schools and communities that set clear expectations of safe relational behaviour, role model these and support the notion that it is ok to reach out for support.

The best advice we can give to parents if their child is experiencing cyber bullying, or any form of bullying is to help them develop a network of support by going with them to talk to a teacher or counsellor and in extreme cases, the police,” adds Bell.

If you or someone you know is concerned about a cyber bullying situation Youthline is here to talk the experience through and look at alternatives to manage the situation safely.

Free phone: 0800 37 66 33
Txt: 234
For more information on Youthline’s activities check out www.youthline.co.nz
For more information on staying safe online visit www.netsafe.org.nz

ENDS

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