Out of the Dark: Protecting kids from the dangers online

The Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) is committed to protecting young Queenslanders from online dangers. The QFCC is leading a program to prevent and respond to online child sexual abuse. The QFCC also supports a range of online safety initiatives delivered by our important partners. 

The QFCC established the Out of the Dark (OOTD) program in response to the 2015 Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry (Byrne Report) to address internet-related child sexual abuse. The Byrne Report acknowledged that the proliferation of new and emerging information and communication technologies has increasingly exposed children and young people to risks and harms in the online environment. Out of the Dark aims to build community awareness and promote behaviours that prevent, recognise and respond to online grooming. Due to ever-advancing technology, protecting children and young people from online sexual exploitation requires a multi-layered approach. 

The QFCC is collaborating with the Queensland Police Service’s Task Force Argos, the Deaprtment of Education, the Queensland Government Chief Information Office, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and Bravehearts to produce the latest instalment in an effective community education campaign. The campaign aims to educate children, young people and their parents about how to recognise, prevent and respond to online child sexual grooming. 

The QFCC proudly supports other initiatives, which contribute to a safer online environment for children and young people. 

On 5 February 2019, the QFCC took part in Safer Internet Day. This year's theme was 'Together for a better internet', which encouraged individuals and the community to create a better internet by developing four critical skills. These skills are called the 4Rs: Respect, Responsibility, Reasoning and Resilience. Principal Commissioner, Cheryl Vardon delivered a video messaging highlighting the importance of critically questioning and reasoning when children and young people are interacting with others online. 

The Queensland Police Service's Taskforce Argos has released a video called "If you'd seen what I've seen". It features officers who deal with internet predators and relates strong messages to parents about the reality of online risks to children and young people. 

The QFCC is pleased to promote a range of resources available to Queensland families, such as the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and Bravehearts. See below links for more details. 

 

Need information on how to keep kids safe online?

See our online safety resources.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is the national leader in promoting online safety. It provides a complaint service, research and audience-specific content.

Bravehearts is a national child protection organisation providing child protection training and education initiatives; specialist child sexual assault counselling and support services; as well as research and reform campaigns to work holistically to prevent child sexual assault

Carly Ryan Foundation was established to create awareness and educate children and parents on online child sexual exploitation. 

Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for children and young people aged 5 to 25.

Alannah and Madeline Foundation aims to care for children who have experienced or witnessed serious violence, reduce the incidence of bullying, cyber bullying and other cyber risks, and advocate for the safety and wellbeing of children.

Legal Aid QLD provides legal information around peer-to-peer sexting, revenge porn and online sexual harassment.

National Children's and Youth Law Centre is a community legal service that is dedicated to helping children and young people in Australia and their supporters to find a legal solution to their problems.

Parentsline offers confidential phone and WebChat counselling and support for parents and carers of children in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Student Edge is Australia's largest member-based organisation of high school, TAFE, VET and university students . It provides access to articles on living well, solving studen challenges and achieving life goals as well as surveys career tips and life hacks. 

ThinkUKnow is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Microsoft and Datacom and is delivered jointly with all State and Territory police and Neighbourhood Watch Australasia. The cyber safety presentations sensitively cover a range of topics including sexting, cyber bullying, online child exploitation, online privacy, and importantly what to do when something goes wrong. 

 

Need to report?

ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network) to report cybercrime such as hacking, scams, fraud, identity theft, attacks on computer systems and illegal or prohibited online content.

Bravehearts - Join the Dots to report suspected online grooming or child sexual exploitation.

Office of the eSafety Commissioner to report image-based abuse, offensive and illegal content and cyberbullying

 

Training providers:

A comprehensive list of Office of the eSafety Commissioner certified online safety program providers in Queensland can be accessed on the Office of the eSafety Commissioner’s website.

 

Need support?

 

If you are in immediate danger, dial ‘OOO’.

 

 

 

08 April 2019