Negotiating the world of the teenage drama is hard enough at the best of times – yet todays teenagers have a whole new virtual dimension to contend with.
From sexting and sextortion to revenge porn (image based violence) there is a whole new world to be negotiated for teenagers, parents and careers.
Bringing together information on sexual health in the online age PASH (Positive Adolescent Sexual Health Consortium) is holding a free community forum on Thursday June 15 at the Byron Bay Community Centre from 6.30pm.
Opening with a Byron Youth Theatre performance ‘So…What about Sex?’ This will be followed by an expert panel with professionals flying in from around the country.
Discussion will include online safety and the law, sexting, sexual health, mental health and relationships. The rise of revenge porn and sextortion, the black mail of young people in regards to intimate images, will also be discussed.
‘Research shows that receiving threats of sharing sexual images – even though it hasn’t happened causes enormous distress – sometimes more so than in actually having the images distributed,’ said Dr Joanne Orlando, a child and technology expert who is on the discussion panel.
‘It’s Important parents raise the subject of internet porn with their children. This talk needs to be age-appropriate and start before children are teenagers.’
Parents, teachers, carers, workers and young people are encouraged to attend the event, which will be held at the Byron Bay Community Centre. It will also be Facebook live streamed for those who can’t make it.
Register for the PASH forum here www.pash.org.au or text on 0403076782.
A two-day PASH conference is also taking place in Lismore on 15 and 16 June delivered to High School students and young people from the region. The program features an extensive and engaging program of workshops, talks, multimedia and arts based platforms to develop skills and healthy behaviours around issues of sex, sexuality, sexual health, body image, sex and the law, bullying, homophobia, unplanned pregnancy, consent, where to get help, social media, sex and love online and healthy sexual boundaries.
‘Having a positive attitude to technology use helps to create a home environment where young people can talk about concerns they have with their online content or activity,’ continued Dr Orlando.
‘Meaningful support begins with accepting young people’s activity online and then helping them to understand the choices they make.’