State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will today debate a Notice of Motion calling on the NSW Government to reform legislative frameworks to deal with online harassment and violence against all girls and young women.
Last year, a report by Plan International titled Free To Be Online, spoke to 14,000 girls across 32 countries around the world, including Australia, about their experiences online.
The report showed that more than half of the women surveyed were harassed and abused on social media and the Australian results were worse than the global average, with 65% of girls and young women reported being harassed or abused online.
Ms Hornery will ask the Attorney General to work with his State and Federal counterparts to reform legislative frameworks to deal with online harassment and violence against all girls and young women.
“Technology use has overtaken the world and the internet plays a big part in this. Parents would agree, and worry, that online abuse harassment and hate is taking social media in a wicked direction,” said Ms Hornery.
“Many women I have spoken to, including most women Members of Parliament, have experienced harassment, either in person, by mail, by email or most predominantly, online via their social media pages.
“I have been targeted via social media many times, including threats against my life, forcing me to involve Police.
“This report tells us that social media platforms designed to connect us to a global community are drastically failing girls and young women, with inadequate reporting mechanisms allowing harmful abuse slip through the cracks. This should not be happening!
“Girls and women need to know that when they’re abused and threatened online, they can report it and that they will be listened to, that action will be taken, and that perpetrators will be held accountable.
“The buck stops with the social media sites first, and when they fail or when problems fall through the cracks, Governments are obliged to step in.
“I will be asking the Attorney General to work with his State and Federal counterparts to reform legislative frameworks to deal with online harassment and violence against all girls and young women,” Ms Hornery said.