Talk of the Town - - Front Page -

EL SHADDAI Chris­tian Academy pupils were warned about the dan­gers of cy­ber bul­ly­ing and on­line preda­tors when Sergeant Sindy Pien­aar from So­cial Crime Preven­tion and Con­sta­ble San­dra Cather­ine from the Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Unit in Port Al­fred vis­ited the school on Mon­day.

Pien­aar told pupils that bul­ly­ing can take many forms. It is repet­i­tive be­hav­iour which can ridicule, hu­mil­i­ate and harm some­one. It can be some­one phys­i­cally hurt­ing, ver­bally hurt­ing or ig­nor­ing you. In the case of cy­ber bul­ly­ing you can be ha­rassed by some­one, and they can spread lies and ru­mours about you or harm­ful pho­tos of you.

Bul­ly­ing can come from any­one, be it a peer, a par­ent, a teacher and even a stranger.

Pien­aar said the SAPS takes this se­ri­ously and will as­sist a child if they re­port bul­ly­ing or ha­rass­ment from any­one on the in­ter­net.

On­line preda­tors were de­scribed as some­one pos­ing as a peer, even go­ing to the lengths of post­ing pic­tures and cre­at­ing a pro­file of some­one in the same age group as you. This per­son will slowly de­velop a re­la­tion­ship with you, mak­ing you feel com­fort­able in shar­ing in­ti­mate de­tails with them.

They will start ask­ing more and more per­sonal ques­tions such as: Where does your mom work? Which school do you go to? Where is your favourite hang­out place?

They will even­tu­ally ask you to start tak­ing pho­tos of your­self, and can even cul­mi­nate in you tak­ing pho­tos of your pri­vate parts. Th­ese pho­tos are then shared all over so­cial me­dia. Th­ese peo­ple are usu­ally adults in their 30s to 50s and are very crafty in hid­ing their iden­tity, Pien­aar said.

Cather­ine from the Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Unit re­it­er­ated the im­por­tance of re­port­ing any in­ci­dents and as­sured pupils that the SAPS are there to help them.

AWARE­NESS TALK: From left, Sergeant Sindy Pien­aar, Avuzwa Mbeda, El Shaddai Chris­tian Academy pupils Zola Tshangana, Beate Rowe, Con­sta­ble San­dra Cather­ine, Julie Mba­bela, Mu­farowashe Ku­udzadombo, af­ter a talk on cy­ber bul­ly­ing and on­line preda­tors at the school on Mon­day

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