It’s time to rewrite your story: Cyberbullying and other online issues

By the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.

You can’t undo the past, and you can’t change the actions or words of other people, but you can Rewrite Your Story. 

Support, Guidance, Courage and Empowerment are the underlying principles of the newly launched initiative – Rewrite Your Story (RYS) – a youth-focussed program that explores cyberbullying and other online issues faced by youth.

RYS is designed to empower young people to be courageous in the face of cyberbullying, guide them when they need, and help them to support their friends.

The latest research at the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner reveals that 19 percent of Aussie teens experienced cyberbullying in the 12 months to June 2016.

Clearly a significant problem for kids and teens alike, RYS was developed to provide practical and realistic advice to help youth, parents and school communities to tackle the issues head on.

The program also provides essential information about how and when to report serious cyberbullying to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.

Image courtesy: the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner

RYS uses real-life stories to demonstrate the serious effects of cyberbullying and provides specific advice to youth, parents and schools about their options for resolving the issues.

Connor, the first of eight stories to be released (currently featured on the RYS homepage), explores what happens when a seemingly harmless joke goes viral, and how the behaviour of a cyberbully can be the result of their own experience as a victim.

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner has been working with a number of talented young artists, writers and creatives, as well as experienced professionals to develop a program that has relevance to its audience and also provides guidance for the guides!

Parents, teachers and communities have a huge role to play in shaping the next generation, though it may not always be easy to help in a space that you’re not overly comfortable or confident in.

RYS has specific resources developed for parents and teachers, as well as some practical advice from youth about how you can actually help and become the right adult in this space.

For more information please visit the Rewrite Your Story homepage.

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner is Australia’s leader in online safety. They provide online safety education for Australian children and young people, a complaint service for serious cyberbullying and address illegal online content through the Online Content Scheme.

Since opening in July 2015, the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner has dealt with over 250 serious cyberbullying complaints from under 18s. Together with social media partners and, where necessary, the person’s parents, school and, in some cases, the police, the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner works to remove serious cyberbullying material and get them the help they need.

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