Teen sexters, cyber bullies may have to face victims
CHILDREN charged with sexting and cyber bullying offences may soon be referred to counselling programs where they will be forced to face their victims.
The educational program, which will today be announced by Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath, is being developed by the State Government as an option in restorative justice.
Restorative justice generally focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims, allowing both parties to be heard.
It is expected to be implemented with the help of Bond University's Psychology Clinic and will target sexting and cyber bullying by juveniles.
The program will allow courts or police to refer youth who have been involved in sexting to cyber bullying incidents to provisionally registered psychologists at Bond.
It is designed to bring offenders and victims together to help them understand the consequences of their offending behaviour.
"This program is about educating young people who engage in this behaviour that it can have distressing and fatal consequences," Ms D'Ath said.
"Often the perpetrator isn't completely aware of the potential consequence that a short text or photo can have on people."
Ms D'Ath said young people who sext and cyber bully need to be made aware they could be charged with criminal offences.
"We have seen some young people take drastic measures when they have been affected so it's important that young people are aware and educated in this space," she said.
The program comes after a report into child exploitation court matters released by the Queensland Sentencing and Advisory Council last month found, in the 10 years to June 2016, there were 1470 children who made or shared child exploitation material.
This number represented nearly half of the total offenders who went through Queensland Courts.