Troll Free Day March 16th 2018
Did you know that Australia is the Number One Country in the World for Cyber-Bullying? Enough is enough we have an epidemic on our hands and it’s getting worse. 1 in 4 children are cyber-bullied and it’s no coincidence that suicide is still the biggest killer of our young people.
I created Troll Free Day to raise awareness for cyber-bullying 4 years ago because once you’ve had a 10-year-old child look you in the eye and say they want to die . . . You can’t sit back and do nothing.
That innocent little girl honestly believes that death is the better option than life . . . Now imagine if that was your child.
Over the past few months there has been a spike in the media coverage surrounding cyber-bullying after the nation was left distraught over the death of 14-year-old Dolly Everett, it’s tragic beyond words when a child feels that is the best option for them. But sadly, there are other young people like Dolly and there will be more, so what are we going to do about it?
Let’s be mindful too that it’s not one single factor that causes someone to suicide . . . it’s not one mean message . . . it’s the mental health issues that arise from the bullying and the constant negativity and abuse being hurled at you. I was a healthy and well-functioning 30-year-old when mine and other lives were ripped apart by the 2012 ‘Royal Prank Phone Call’ but what progressed from that was major depression and when you are feeling that low and someone tells you ‘To go kill yourself’ you start to believe it.
Today is the National Day of Awareness against bullying and violence. We need legislation for tougher penalties against cyber-crime. We need zero tolerance in schools. We need more arrests. We need more action from social media companies. We need parents teaching empathy and kindness in our young. We need children to talk about what they are going through.
We are facing an epidemic and it’s time for action.
As adults we need to set a better example. It’s time to remind people that WORDS DO HURT. If you are watching your favourite reality TV show and you think someone on that show has done the wrong thing and is a horrible person . . . what gives you the right to abuse them? You need to know the difference between having an opinion and being abusive. But you think that person deserves it so it’s ok to call them a slut? Well how about you think about the child that just saw what you wrote and now thinks it’s appropriate to write that to someone in their class.
We all need to play our role in helping fix the epidemic that is Cyber-Bullying because it only gets worse from here. I won’t let a 10-year-old take their own life on my watch. What about you? Please help spread the word. Listen to the www.trollfreeday.com.au radio special and start the conversation. Download a meme from the site to remind people to be kind.