What is a safe/unsafe situation?

Personal safety is a feeling of being safe and secure from risk of harm or danger. Everyone has the right to feel safe. Different people have different tolerance levels when it comes to feeling safe and secure.

It does not matter if everyone else feels safe, what does matter is that you personally feel safe. What constitutes an unsafe situation?

  • An unsafe situation is any environment where you feel uncomfortable or at risk of harm or danger.
  • To prevent wandering into an unsafe situation, make sure you stay aware of where you are, and the people around you.
  • Be mindful of the closest form of help or support.
  • Have a safety plan in place. Make sure that more than one person has an iPad or phone, and charger, to contact a responsible adult. Know your address, your parents work addresses, the contact details for a close family friend, and their mobile numbers.
  • Ensure your parents or teachers or friends know where you are and what activities you plan to do e.g., going to a movie or meeting up at a local oval to play soccer. If you do not arrive at your destination, people can immediately begin looking for you.
  • Codes of conduct and safety plans prevent accident and injury. Follow the safety instructions associated with your activities or environment.
  • Carry around essential safety information in case of an emergency: such as allergies or medical conditions.
  • Sometimes a safe situation can become unsafe very quickly. Example: an intoxicated person may join you on a tram or train and their behaviour may be erratic or unpredictable. Discuss with your family what you could do in these situations.
  • It is always easier to prevent danger and confrontation than it is to manage it.


How to Identify Bullying

A bully is someone who behaves disrespectfully or aggressively to undermine self-confidence and influence others who they perceive to be vulnerable.

Bullying is a controlling type of behaviour and is often motivated by fear or a need for attention and approval. A bully may attempt to do this by drawing negative attention away from themselves and direct it consistently towards someone else: excluding them from groups, games, or activities.

Bullying behaviour is toxic and includes differ types of behaviour – verbal abuse, online abuse, and physical violence. It should be reported immediately to an adult whom you know and trust. You can also discuss bullying with counselling services such as Kids Help Line.

How to respond to bullying:

  • Walk away: If the bullying behaviour is face-to-face, for example, when you walk up to a group of people, you could try calming walking away to join others who value and respect you.
  • Call it out: use clear, objective, and direct language to identify what is wrong, and what you want the outcome to be. For example: “You are making me feel uncomfortable. Please stop yelling. Leave me alone, now.” Try to stay calm and speak clearly.The benefit of calling out bullying behaviour is that you draw attention to it being negative, and not acceptable. Bullies often act more assertively when they are surrounded by others, so calling out the behaviour is likely to be heard by someone else. It gives others an opportunity to step in and support you.Classes at school can choose a Bystander Code of Conduct as part of their class rules and objectives. This means that if someone else witnesses bullying or bad behaviour they will intervene or directly report it.
  • Leave to get help, or yell for help: if it seems that calling out the behaviour is not resolving the situation, then you need to either leave to get help immediately, or if walking away provokes a physical response you need to yell STOP, loudly and clearly and HELP.
  • Report it: Always report any bullying behaviour to an adult immediately. Parents will be more worried about bullying, and making sure you are safe, than they will about when you were gaming or what you were playing.

Responding to Bullying

What is Cyber Bullying:

Cyber bullying can range in behaviour from calling names, using obscenities, deliberately targeting a user in a game, creating dummy accounts, and acting under a false name or identity, posting news or information that it not factual or untrue and sharing photos, videos or memes designed to embarrass or humiliate another person.

Unfortunately, the ability to hide behind an online identity can lead to online attacks being more personal and damaging, and the effects can be long lasting, even after the perpetrators have been caught.

Gaming Expectations and Asking for Help: Your role as a gamer and when to speak out –

  • Children, teens, and adults play online. Different age groups have different reasons for gaming (such as stress relief or testing different game elements) which means they behave differently within a game.
  • Have realistic expectations and be mindful that there is a strong element of uncertainty and unpredictability when you are playing in an online community.
  • Not all gamers play fairly or give others an opportunity to access different levels or areas within a game.
  • All games have a suggested gaming age (like a movie rating), with reasons such as high levels of violence, drug or alcohol use, adult themes etc. Make sure you are aware of the rating of your game and have an agreement to talk to a trusted adult about any content you find confusing or upsetting.
  • The e-Safety Commission has an excellent website that discusses e-safety, limiting online chatting, using private browsers, and reporting bullying behaviour. Parents and carers should discuss online safety, your digital footprint, location tracking and privacy risks as a family and come up with agreed rules for online gaming, language, behaviour, and limits.


Act Against Cyber Bullying:

The e-Safety Commission recommends that you take the following actions if you feel you are being bullied online:

  1. Resist the urge to argue or respond – bullying is often controlling or attention seeking behaviour and responding will often make the situation worse.
  2. Screenshot evidence: it will help you build a case against any negative behaviour. Please be aware that there are very strict laws regarding nudity, and the sharing of nude photos or images. This is called sexting. Please check the laws that govern your State, with Youth Law Australia.[3]
  3. Report bullying behaviour and using blocking features to keep your online gaming platform safe.
  4. Talk to a trusted Adult immediately: cyber bullying can leave victims feeling isolated, embarrassed, ashamed, and guilty. It is important to speak to a trusted adult or online counselling service who will reassure you that you are not alone and advise you directly about the next steps to take.
  5. Report bullying content to the e-Safety Commission: they can assist in having offensive content taken down and advise you on the next steps in reaching out for help and support.

Always know that bullying behaviour reflects on the bully, not on the person being bullied. No-one has the right to make you feel unsafe. Bullying under any circumstances is not acceptable or excusable.

table on bullying


  • Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure from the risk of harm or danger. It is important to acknowledge and respect that what feels safe and secure may vary from one individual to another.
  • Know key safety information – personal, environmental, activity, health and medical.
  • Bullying is a toxic, controlling type of behaviour that involves words or actions intended to harm, intimidate, or hurting someone that is perceived to be vulnerable or unsupported.
  • The four best responses to bullying are walk away, call it out, get help and report it.
  • Cyberbullying involves texts, images, gossip, identity theft, imitating and excluding others online. Understanding and practicing expected online behaviours helps to create a safe online environment.
  • Cyberbullying is underreported because part of the bullying process is designed to make children feel ashamed and alienated.
  • The eSafety Commissioner Australia promotes online safety education for Australian young people, educators, and parents. It also provides a complaints mechanism for young people who experience serious cyberbullying, and for Australians to report illegal or offensive online content.



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