CARI welcomes appointment of Digital Safety officer Press Release

Press Release    25 /01 /2018
CARI welcomes appointment of Digital Safety officer

CARI, (the children’s charity that provides a range of services for children and families affected by sexual abuse) today welcomed the decision by Communications Minister Dennis Naughton to appoint a Digital Safety Officer to act as online watchdog. CARI also welcomed Minister Naughten’s reminder that that parents too need to be active and vigilant in this space and monitor and restrict their young children’s use of digital media until they are mature and experienced enough to negotiate this world safely themselves.

CARI CEO Mary Flaherty said “CARI has been highlighting the risks associated with digital media in Annual Reports since 2013, CARI had, in the preceding two years received an alarmingly high rate of phone calls regarding grooming and inappropriate attacks on children and young teens using Apps and the internet. We identified amongst the thousands of Apps those particlurly designed for children, Facebook, Instagram, Kik and Snapchat.”

The reports in that year and since highlighted how online grooming was taking place by adults befriending and establishing emotional connections with child, sometimes but not always posing as a young person.  We also attempted to show the additional impact of digital abuse caused by the permanence of online images, as has been highlighted in the recent high-profile case

It takes a village to protect a child and, so we welcome the Ministers announcement and the broad forum he is establishing to take this proposal forward. We also believe that parents need to firmly place themselves in the space between younger children and their media.

For further comment ;
Mary Flaherty. CEO. 0879582250
Eve Farrelly. Helpline and Accompaniment Manager. 0851580070

Additional Information: Excerpt from CARI Annual Report 2013-2014 page 11 -12