As many readers would be aware, there was an article recently published on HelloCare regarding an unpleasant and extensive example of online harassment, that sadly has been going on for a significant amount of time and one that I found myself involved in as a target, late last year.

The basis of the article was the level of online trolling that a number of aged care advocates (some of whom had elderly people family members abused and even murdered in aged care facilities) have had to go through recently, myself included.

As I’ve said previously, it is crucial that online activities involving hatred, bullying and continual harassment, are monitored by authorities, but most importantly, called out by the community in general.

Sadly, the internet and social media, in particular, has provided a cloak of invisibility that allows these vile people to engage in the most disgusting activities online with a high degree of anonymity.

The ease of which many of these social media platforms allow the opportunity for multiple accounts to be created under a fake alias with zero need for verification of one’s identity is a significant flaw that must be corrected immediately.

Only by publically highlighting these individuals, and reporting them to social media platforms and federal authorities, will we truly be able to highlight to the public their antics and build a picture that reflects the reality of their activities for future action.

It remains inadvisable to engage with them online because this is generally the action they are seeking, but if you have received or are receiving abuse, be sure to screenshot and collect as much evidence as you can.

Personally, I was lucky enough to have had extensive experience within the business world and in particular HR, prior to Oakden thrusting me into the public sphere.

It has always been second nature for me to partake in conversation with people via email or SMS, and luckily the paper trail of my conversations has afforded me the evidence to refute some of the ridiculous and slanderous claims against my character.

To counteract this somewhat, I did publish a fraction of what I do have and it seemed to silence them.

Others though have not been so fortunate, and the repercussions as we know can be devastating.

These people are hijacking many of the important narratives that aged care advocates are pushing in their quest to improve things, and the vile manner in which they choose to use their words has

many of the family members of aged care victims feeling like villains.

Yet despite the urge that many of us have to lash out, I’m not sure that a continual battle of words that takes the focus away from the aged care system is not what our elderly and vulnerable need right now.

I still maintain a hope for the thousands affected by abuse in the aged care/disability sector, in fact, any victim of a crime, including those who perpetrate this vile conduct, and are in obvious need of mental health treatment.

Mental health issues are complex and confronting, many of us know this only too well.

With this in mind, I do implore the individuals who are engaging in this conduct to reflect and try to understand the very real consequences of their actions, and to also seek out a mental health assessment and to begin to health themselves.

Perhaps they too have been personally affected by trauma.

Sadly though, there are a small selection of human beings out there who seem to enjoy inflicting emotional pain on others, and the internet connection has given these people a platform with the ability to hurt people all around the globe from the comfortable and cowardly confines of their own home.

Hopefully, law enforcement is able to locate these people and punish them to the full extent of the law.

Many of us still suffer, but please allow us to suffer in peace.

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