Family Lives responds to the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Online Violence Report

Jeremy Todd, Family Lives Chief Executive says:

“A previous report by Family Lives* found that 86% of respondent parents feel increased technological exposure is impacting on their children’s development.  With three quarters (75%) of 10-12 year olds interviewed owning a mobile phone, half (50%) having unsupervised access to a computer in their bedroom and over half (53%) being signed up to Facebook despite being underage, these ‘new’ issues are also reflected in the online content children are exposed to.  The survey shows:

  • More than a quarter (28%) of 10-12 year olds interviewed see and read alcohol-related posts on social networking sites 
  • Over a third (37%) of 13-15 year olds who responded see photos of their friends drunk on social networking sites
  • 12% of 10-12 year olds and 25% of 13-15 year olds interviewed say they have seen sexually explicit images on the internet.

Parents have always worried about their children’s use of existing and emerging technologies, and Family Lives encourages parents to have conversations with their children, as the consequences of accessing inappropriate & violent sites can be extremely damaging and can distort perceptions about what is real and what is staged when viewed online. Keep the computer in a room used by all the family, monitor how much time your child spends on the computer and encourage them to openly talk about what they’re looking at online. Young people are more likely to seek help and advice from parents who listen and are supportive, rather than those who lecture or fly off the handle.  The more help and information that parents and carers have to understand these issues and talk to their kids about risky behaviours, the safer their kids will be. Free advice is available through the Family Lives 24/7 Helpline on 0808 800 222 and at www.familylives.org.uk.”

Take a look at the Guardian's report.

-Ends-

Notes to editors

1. *Survey completed on behalf of Family Lives & Drinkaware by 600 children and 800 adults throughout April 2011