SafeToNet are proud to announce their support for Anti-Bullying Week 2020, which will take place from Monday 16 – Friday 20 November. This year’s themeis United Against Bullying, which urges the nation to come together and play their part inpreventing and responding appropriately to bullying both face to face and online.
New statistics from the Anti-Bullying Alliance show that a third of children in the UK have been bullied in the last six months, with one in five children on the receiving end of bullying behaviour once per week or more. Heartbreakingly, the number of children reporting they have more than one close friend dropped following the outbreak, going from 91% in 2019 to 86.5% in October 2020.
As a leading safeguarding company, SafeToNet understand the long-term impact and consequences bullying can have on children and young people and are passionate aboutplaying their part in the fight against these threats. Their mission is simple; to safeguard as many children as possible against online risks such as bullying and to educate them and their parents on becoming safe, responsible digital citizens. By joining forces andchannelling their collective ambitions, efforts, and platforms, SafeToNet and the Anti Bullying Alliance are working to beat bullying together. They believe that everyone – from parents and carers, to teachers and politicians, to children and young people – all have a part to play in coming together to make a real difference.
The app, which is downloaded onto both the parent and child’s devices, uses an AI-driven smart keyboard to detect and filter risks and harmful content in real time, before any harm is caused. The pioneering technology has been designed specifically to pick up on a user’s psychological wellbeing, recognising signs of doubt, low self-esteem and dark thoughts, and offering support and guidance in the moment. The privacy of the children is paramount; what they are looking at, who they are talking to and what they are typing is never seen or read by the parents or by SafeToNet.
Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, children have spent more time than ever online this year,doing everything from socialising to schoolwork online with less adult supervision than normal, creating an even greater opportunity for online bullying. In this sense, there is an even greater need for SafeToNet as a real time safeguarding solution to ensure that children have the necessary tools to navigate the digital world safely and feel comfortable havinginformed, constructive conversations with parents or guardians about online behaviour.
Anti-Bullying Week 2020 includes a number of events and activities in order to raise awareness and highlight the issues surrounding bullying; Odd Socks Day on Monday 16 November asks workplaces and schools to encourage everyone to turn up wearing odd socks to embrace their individuality and celebrate difference, whilst the School Staff Award
allows pupils to nominate their favourite anti-bullying member of school staff for a prize, to celebrate the adults who are standing up to bullying and making a difference. There will also be a range of online activities with resources and ideas on how parents and schools can get involved and play their part,
Co-founder of SafeToNet Sharon Pursey says ‘We are honoured to be supporting Anti-Bullying Week again and stand united against bullying; we are all a piece of the puzzle and have our responsibility to ensure children’s safety and wellbeing. As a safeguarding tech company, our vision is to create a world where all children are automatically safe online and are protected from digital threats such as bullying, so by supporting this initiative we hope to raise some awareness and start the conversation about digital safety and wellbeing in schools and households across the UK.”
Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance says ‘It’s clear that bullying remains a significant problem for many children across the country, and we know that these experiences can have a lasting impact well into adulthood. But this year we have witnessed the power that people can have when they unite to tackle a common challenge. If we are serious about reducing bullying, we have to harness that energy and work together. Itsespecially important that the digital world is a safe place for children and young people to enjoy, and we are delighted to team up with SafeToNet again this year, who have been at the forefront in developing software to support families. But whether it is online, in the community or in school, we all have a part to play and its time we came together, friends and family, classmates and colleagues, and unite against bullying.’