SAPS WARNS PUPILS ON CYBER-BULLYING AND ONLINE PREDATORS
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