Talk with your child
- Let them know that you will support him/her to get through the difficulties they are experiencing. It is important not to add to their distress and to involve your child in decision making about how to proceed. This will ensure that they feel part of the solution and that decisions are not being made for them without their input.
- Ask him/her for details of what has occurred. It is important to know what was sent/posted, where it might have been sent/posted and who else was involved to help determine a course of action. These details will also help you to request the removal of content from social networking sites.
- Discuss the consequences of his/her behaviour if he/she was involved in taking or sharing inappropriate images. Consequences should be consistent, logical and fit with the behaviour. This may include temporarily limiting or suspending your child’s social media accounts or mobile phone and/or Internet access. Such action may limit their exposure to any subsequent cyberbullying, however, they may also want to see what’s happening online so they can respond by seeking appropriate support. In this case it might be beneficial to increase monitoring of your child’s Internet use while ensuring they have online and offline supports such as trusted friends, family or school staff. Keeping your child connected to trusted friends, family and other adults, and reinforcing the importance of these relationships, can help to alleviate harms from cyberbullying.
Contact your child’s school
- Your child’s school may be able to provide you with information, advice and support. Contact the school to discuss what steps can be taken to ensure your child and others involved are supported.
- The school may also be able to help you identify where the image/video is posted and who else is involved. This information can help you to request removal of the content from social networking sites to prevent further distribution.
Minimise further distribution of the content
- You can contact social networking sites directly to request removal of content to minimise further distribution. It is important when contacting them to outline: you (your child) are the person in the image/video, your child’s age, the person who has posted the content (if known), and that the content has been posted without permission and you are requesting it be removed. Below are links to request the removal of content on social networking sites commonly used by young people.
Seek professional advice
- You can seek professional advice to support your child by contacting the counsellor at your child’s school, your GP or a psychologist.
- Kids Helpline provide confidential, free telephone and online counselling services for children and young people aged between 5 and 25. 1800 55 1800
- Lifeline provide free counselling and support. 13 11 14
- eHeadspace provide a confidential, free and secure space where young people 12 - 25 or their family can chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional 1800 650 890
- Legal Aid WA 1300 650 579
Useful tips and information about social networking sites and image/video sharing
- Cybersmart 1800 880 176 (information on Sexting)
- Popular App Tip Sheet (Family Online Safety Institute)