Rapping for respect: Brussels launches campaign against cyber-bullying

Summary

With one in three young people thought to be suffering from cyber-violence, the Brussels government and local schools have team up with two rappers to raise awareness of the problem

Online abuse

The Brussels government and local schools are launching a major campaign against online bullying. Using rap music, Brussels state secretary for equal opportunities Bianca Debaets hopes to raise more awareness among young people about the problem of cyber-violence.

About one in three young people is thought to suffer from cyber-bullying. Teachers and parents often feel powerless, as the offences usually occur via social media and informal groups.

“Many youngsters suffer from cyber-violence, often in silence, without their parents or friends knowing about it,” said Debaets in a statement. “The idea of the campaign is to raise more awareness about the problem and encourage discussions among children and in class groups.

The government asked Brussels rappers Mia Lena and Jay MNG (pictured) to make a song and video clip about the issue. They also set up a competition challenging youngsters to come up with a rap punchline against cyber violence and share it with the hashtag #rap4respect. The winner will get a place on a hip-hop workshop.

Teachers will also get tools to support young victims and a brochure that offers advice about supervising group discussions with students. Debaets wants extra attention for girls as well, as they are more often victims of cyberbullying than boys. “I don’t want to see digital no-go zones forming,” she said.
Photo courtesy stopcyberviolence.brussels

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