We encourage all the parents that we work with to be well informed on the topic of Image Based Abuse before they give their child access to a device of any kind. It’s critical for parents to do what they can to stay up to date and mitigate the risk by talking with their children about the dangers involved around social media.
This isn’t about inducing fear, it’s about preparing our kids for the reality of engaging in an online space that can presents real threats.
Driving a car is risky and without the proper instructions, conversations and hours of learning how to safely step behind the wheel of a car, they are at an increased risk of being involved in an accident. We are naive to think it would be any different for a child who is engaging on social media without instruction, conversations, and consistent education on how to navigate this space safely.
So here are some quick, important facts about IBA that every parent should know.
- Teenagers are at higher risk of image-based abuse than any other age group. This is due to the increased rates of sharing intimate images and videos amongst young people.
- In 2017, RMIT University found that 1 in 5 Australians had experienced image-based abuse. 2 years later, it had jumped to 1 in 3.
- A 2016 qualitative study from British Columbia found that many victims of IBA were given an official medical diagnosis of PTSD, anxiety and depression.
- The Sexual Assault Resource Centre reports that teens who experience image-based abuse can face symptoms such as; fear of safety, difficulty focusing, feelings of betrayal and anger, trust issues, fear of going out and physical stress.
This research is just a brief overview of the greater body of research around the harmful effects of IBA. However, they do help to give insight into the severity of the issue. Let’s support and protect our young people in the way they engage and communicate through technology. Have some BRAVE conversations today.