Advocate Panel comments on proposals to tackle online abuse

11 October 2017

Girlguiding's Advocate Panel has spoken out following news today about the Government's proposals to tackle online abuse.

The Advocate Panel said:

“It is extremely encouraging to see the issue of online safety being taken seriously. Social media companies taking responsibility is important in tackling this issue, and as recognised by the Government,  more needs to be done to see online safety given more attention in schools – an area Girlguiding has been campaigning  to see incorporated  as part of Sex and Relationship education programmes in all schools.
“We welcome the Government’s proposal and look forward to  participating in the consultation to ensure girls’ voices are heard and are taken into account on the issue. 
“Social media can be an incredible tool, but statistics from Girlguiding’s latest Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2017, show it can also have a substantial negative impact on our everyday lives. From exposure to unwanted pornography, bullying  and sexual harassment, online safety is a big concern for girls and this needs to be addressed.”

A total of 1,906 girls and young women aged between 7 and 21 took part in the 2017 survey from the across the UK, from both inside and outside of guiding. Some of its findings are below.

  • 50% of girls aged 7- 10 are worried about online bullying
  • 35% of girls aged 11-16 are worried about seeing unwanted pornography
  • 36% of girls aged 13 – 21 have experienced sexist comments on social media in the last year at school - up from 15% in 2014
  • 37% of young women aged 17-21 are worried about how pictures of them might be used and 32% are worried about sexual harassment online