Date: 
Tuesday 19 June 2012

News

BackMeUp - cyberbullying campaign with ambassadors Ruby Rose and Cody Bell

Tuesday 19 June 2012

BackMeUp campaign launched to help prevent cyberbullying

The Commission has launched a national campaign to encourage young people to support their friends targeted by cyberbullying.

MTV’s Ruby Rose – who is an Ambassador for the campaign - says she is passionate about the cause because she knows first-hand what it is like to be bullied.

“I ended up hospitalised and to be honest I suffered severe depression.  And if it wasn’t for the fact that a few pupils actually went to some teachers to alert them to my situation, then I may not be here today,” said Ruby Rose.

Fellow Ambassador and Australia’s Got Talent contestant Cody Bell found his love of singing helped him overcome his experience of being bullied at school. He was lucky enough to have support from some friends and family but not everyone is that lucky.

They were joined at the launch by young people who have signed up to the BackMeUp campaign to help prevent other teenagers going through the trauma that they experienced.

Fifteen year old Jasper says in his case it began with small things like being sworn at, but “… eventually evolved into much larger things like being sent threats online.”  But Jasper had a good friend to give him support and help him stay strong through the bullying.

Commission spokesperson Dr Helen Szoke says this campaign is about taking positive action when you see somebody being cyberbullied.

“Bystanders are crucial to dealing with cyberbullying. Taking positive action to support those who are being bullied leads to less social and mental health problems as well as an increased sense of safety at schools,” said Dr Szoke.

The BackMeUp campaign is based on research by some of Australia’s foremost bullying experts including Professor Donna Cross and Dr Laura Thomas from Edith Cowan University Child Health Promotion Research Centre.

Research on bullying has found that the vast majority of bullying incidents occur in front of bystanders, the majority either feel powerless to act or actually encourage the bullying.

The central focus of BackMeUpis a video competition through facebook where teenagers are encouraged to make a video about how they could help someone who is being cyberbullied.

The campaign is supported by a wide range of partners including Kids Helpline, UNICEF, Headspace, Inspire Foundation, Alannah and Madeleine Foundation, ACMA, Facebook Australia, Bullying. No Way! Scouts Australia, Girl Guides Australia, Foundations for Young Australians, Lawstuff YHA, NIDA, Google and Ovations.
Ten winners and their parents/guardians will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Sydney to spend a week at NIDA creating a professional short film. Students can also win JB HiFi vouchers weekly.

For more information on the BackMeUp Campaign go to facebook.com/2012backmeup and somethingincommon.gov.au/backmeup

BackMeUp video resources on YouTube

Student videos