One in five young Australians aged eight to seventeen experiences cyber-bullying each year, according to new research commissioned by the Federal Government and released today.
Federal Member for Forde, Bert van Manen MP has urged parents to make contact with his office to raise their concerns about cyber bullying and to ensure they are receiving the support and information they need to better protect their children.
“In developing our election policy, the Coalition carefully reviewed the available evidence about cyber-bullying and online safety,”
“Now that we are in Government and working to implement the policy, we have added to the evidence base by commissioning three major pieces of research on cyber-bullying,” he said.
“These latest findings confirm that cyber-bullying is widespread and can be serious, and that there is significant community concern about whether there are adequate response mechanisms available today.”
The research found that the majority of cyber-bullying incidents were dealt with through reporting to a school, with 72 per cent of schools reporting at least one incident in 2013. However, the more serious cases are typically reported to the police.
The Federal Government announced funding of $10 million in the May Budget for its policy of Enhancing Online Safety for Children, including:
• $7.5 million to assist schools to access accredited online safety programmes;
• $2.4 million to establish and operate the Office of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner (the Commissioner) to take a leadership role in online safety; and
• $0.1 million to support Australian-based research and information campaigns on online safety.
Mr van Manen said the Government was working through internal processes with a view to finalising the policy package in this area, announcing the details in due course.
The research results are available online at www.communications.gov.au/publications