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Community based services for children and adults with learning disabilities


You out there on the internet! Talk to me! A look at what can go right and wrong with relationships on the internet By Louise Wallis


Who am I? Who do I work with? What do we do? • I work for Respond • We have five expert advisors: the Respond Action Group • They work closely with Respond’s Policy & Campaigns Officer • Together we’ve been focusing on helping people stay safe on the internet


www.SaferNet.org.uk Safer Net Network


Respond Action Group’s no 1 ‘Top Tip’ Enjoy the internet!

Computers are a great way to meet new people, chat with friends, watch videos, play games and learn new skills But remember the online world is not the same as the real world


The good things 1) Freedom – to be different 2) More opportunities to communicate 3) Broader horizons 4) More control 5) Creativity 6) Chance to learn new skills


Relationships on the net Person you think you have been chatting to

Person you have really been chatting to


Good things about ‘meeting’ people online • Getting to know someone before meeting • Feeling like we can be who we want to be, and escape the roles imposed on us in the outside world • Meeting people we wouldn’t otherwise have met


Down sides to ‘meeting’ people online • Communication is limited (no eye contact, body language, gestures) • Text based communication can be easily misunderstood • We can be lied to and manipulated more easily


Staying safe


Always remember • The R-word • Real friends will Respect you - even if you fall out


Tips for safer relationships • Get support or training. Set the security settings to max. If you don’t know how, ask for help! • A Facebook ‘friend’ is not the same • It’s okay to say no! To friend requests or invitations or anything else • Don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable • Block bullies and report them


Tips for safer relationships • Never send anyone money • Never give out personal details especially address and phone no • Take advice from a specialist dating / friendship agency: www.starsinthesky.co.uk • Use secure, moderated websites like People & Places www.mypeopleandplaces.co.uk/


Louise Wallis Policy & Campaigns Officer

Respond 24-32 Stephenson Way London NW1 2HD 020 7383 0700 www.safernet.org.uk www.respond.org.uk

Good relationships on the internet  
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