This week is the week against bullying in Belgium. Several initiatives have been taken across the country to raise awareness about the negative impact of bullying. Yesterday was also the Safer Internet Day. Her Majesty Queen Mathilde has recorded a personal message about cyberbullying.
Queen Mathilde recorded her first personal message ever about cyberbullying. The Queen is president of Child Focus Belgium, an organisation for missing and sexually exploited children. However, the organistion also launched several campagins about the safe use of the internet, and it has also published several tips on how to prevent cyberbullying. This week it is the week against bullying in Flander. As yesterday was Safer Internet Day, it was the ideal day to publish such a strong message..
Her Majesty recorded the message in two languages: Dutch and French. Queen Mathilde has also spoken with the victims of bullying on many occasions. The Queen has previously said that she thinks the victims are very courageous. In her message, the Queen urged people to use their common sense and always to respect each other when posting things online. She also said: “I’m asking all of you to say no to cyberbullying.”
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde revealed earlier this year that their children are allowed to have their own personal social media accounts. It is also expected that Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant will receive her official Facebook account once she turns 18.
Queen Mathilde spoke in clear language in her message as she urged everyone to react against bullying. The full message can be found below:
“Young people like you are often online. There is no problem with that. But cyberbullying is NOT ok. You can’t just post stuff online. Always show respect.
“And if you become angry, sad or afraid about what has been said about you online, then talk about it as soon as possible with someone you trust. I know you need courage for that, but it is cool to talk about bullying.
“If you notice that others are being bullied online, then help each other. Because cyberbullying is really not ok.”
The Queen also recorded a more extended version of the message which can be found below: