Animation Warning for Self-Defense and Online Safety for Children – Jornal do Oeste

According to a survey by ICT Kids Online Brazil 2019, 89% of Brazilians between the ages of 9 and 17 have access to the Internet in their lives and first contact with the virtual environment: 49% of children communicate for the first time. And the period of social distance imposed by the epidemic has intensified this use, digitalizing study, leisure, and communication with friends and family. To start a conversation about the safe use of the Internet and risk prevention, the Protect Yourself campaign has launched a new video with the theme “Self Defense and Online Security”.

The campaign, created by the Merist Group’s Merist Children’s Defense Center (CMDI), aims to help children between the ages of 4 and 12 show a resilient attitude to potentially dangerous situations of violence through animated videos with children’s characters. To mark May 18 is National Day for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and AdolescentsCMDI, through video, encourages self-defense against sexual violence in virtual environments.

For this, the primary access to animation technology, with the care of sharing pictures and personal information, brings the message, Decoration (A habit in which adults seek to establish trust with children and adolescents that threaten to manipulate, blackmail, and / or sexually exploit them), respect for the age indicated for social networks, and the importance of playing outside the virtual environment.

Sharing protection

There is also a message for parents and guardians about the importance of tracking and monitoring access. “It is not the responsibility of children or adolescents to protect themselves. The Federal Constitution and the Children and Adolescents Constitution establish that it is the duty of the family, society and the state. Talking about self-defense does not mean that the child will defend himself alone, but he will be offered a collection of information on how to act in potentially risky situations, to know his own body and feelings, to understand the relationship of affection. And makes it harder for attackers to act. Cecilia Landarin Heleno, who is responsible for the self-defense campaign, explains.

Family conversations play a fundamental role in establishing agreement on Internet access, usage time, content access and social networks. “In an ideal world, children will not have unreasonable access to the Internet, but it does happen and we must work on this reality, so that harm can be minimized and so that they can take advantage of the positive possibilities that exist in the digital environment,” Cecilia points out. Experts suggest that watching animation with children is a great way to start a conversation or remember family agreements.

The school also promotes greater awareness of the need for a relevant, preventive attitude when discussing topics. In Marist schools and colleges, for example, the focus on sexual abuse prevention is supported by the publisher FTD’s book – “Mina e Sua Luzinhas” for children ages 6 to 10; And “A Neighbor Against Silence”, for students ages 11 to 14. Also, teachers use videos from the Defend Yourself campaign to discuss the issue. “Schools and colleges promote activities that mark the National Day against Sexual Harassment and Exploitation in their curriculum. We want to engage teachers, students and parents in this discussion and contribute to raising awareness of the importance of self-defense and strengthening the protective role of the family, “explained Raimunda Caldas Barbosa, a social expert in the field of elementary education.

For Raimunder, it is up to the family to discuss the importance of monitoring the use of social networks, knowing that children and adolescents value social networks. “There needs to be a responsible use and parents are aware of this movement. I liken a virtual environment to a public square, where the child has the right to stay, but needs care and protection. You can’t leave a child alone in a square. Similarly, it is necessary to know and observe where he is in the virtual world, “said Raimunda.

Defend yourself campaign

The Defend Yourself campaign was created in 2014 by the Marst Center for the Defense of Children to promote children’s self-defense against sexual violence through educational videos suitable for girls and boys ages 4 to 12.

The stories present situations where the heroes have real conditions to act defensively in their defense, especially by recognizing strategies that make it difficult for the attackers to act.

The series contains 14 videos that address issues such as feelings, knowing your own body, privacy, type of affection, rights of children and adolescents, and how to report a situation of violence. To reach as many children as possible, the Defend Yourself campaign videos are translated into English, Spanish, audio descriptions, and libraries.

The campaign also includes content for adults, such as a video about special testimony and special hearing laws, nº 13.431 / 2017, a card game about spontaneous disclosures, and an ebook with subsidies about new videos. All productions are available on the website Protect


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