“I actually forgot what it felt like to be happy” were the very touching words of 17 year old Nathalie, a former victim of bullying and cyberbullying, who shared her very personal story with the participants of the European #DeleteCyberbullying conference.
The Europe-wide cyberbullying conference, organised by COFACE on May 28, gathered over 80 participants in Madrid, all experts in the field from all over Europe.
As part of the #DeleteCyberbullying project, the conference took on ambitious goals to bring together a great variety of actors involved in the fight against cyberbullying, such as families, young people, NGOs, schools, law enforcement and the industry.
Over the course of the day, in different plenary and interactive sessions the participants shared their experience, learned from each other and showed great interest in cooperating further to address the challenges of cyberbullying together.
Peer mentoring emerged as one of the most successful approaches in preventing and addressing cyberbullying, notably by empowering young people to talk about their bad experiences, and to seek help from young people of the same age group.
The highlights of the day were the honest testimonies of the 4 teenagers who shared their personal stories and experiences with the conference participants, which really brought home the core of the issue.
A consensus emerged around the idea, that cyberbullying is not only about technology but also about behaviour. Strengthening young people’s empathy and their sense of responsibility are key in fostering a bullying free environment.
Opening Key note speeches
– Agnes Uhereczky, Coordinator of the #DeleteCyberbullying project
– MEP Georgios Koumoutsakos [VIDEO]
– Evangelia Markidou, European Commission, DG Connect
– Teenager cyberbullying victim, BeatBullying, UK
Figures, statistics and law: a quick overview of the latest findings and state of play
– Sameer Hinduja, Cyberbullying Research Center School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Florida Atlantic University [VIDEO]
– Dave Miles, Family Online Safety Institute
Panel 1: The youth perspective
– Introduction by Janice Richardson, INSAFE
– Teenagers cyberbullying victims from BeatBullying, UK and Protégeles, Spain
Panel 3: Awareness raising and empowerment of Parents, Children and Schools
– Philippe Seidel, Child Focus
– Ana Luisa Rotta, Protégeles
– Richard Piggin, BeatBullying
– Urko Fernández, Pantallas Amigas
– Michaël Op de Beeck, Gezinsbond
Open Space: An exchange of existing projects, tools, websites, training and other material, followed by a discussion