In This Together

Tonight, SBS will release The Hunting, a new four-part series which explores the impact of a nude teen photo scandal. As stated on the SBS website, “Tackling themes of misogyny, privacy, sexuality and sexualisation, online exploitation, toxic masculinity and gender, the series uses this singular event as a way of exploring some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

Whilst you may not yet have given your daughter a mobile phone or let her access a computer in an unsupervised environment, we thought it was a timely reminder that discussions around appropriate use of technology, healthy relationships and consent should begin from a young age, both at home and at school.

We know that the series will be uncomfortable viewing for some. You may choose to watch this with your daughter, but this might be something which you choose not to do due to the sexually explicit content. However, regardless of whether you decide to watch it as a family or not, it is important to take care how you respond to the issues the show raises, as judgement or interrogation will quickly shut down any opportunity to have a discussion in an open and healthy way.

And we hope that you do have conversations with your daughter about the different topics raised (of course in an age appropriate manner). Should your daughter watch The Hunting, please also observe her response and take seriously any behaviours you notice, as the series may leave her worried about an incident in her past, a current relationship, or a friend’s behaviour. No matter what, remaining calm and listening without judgement will show your daughter that she can talk to you about the difficult things which she experiences, now and in the future.

If you watch the show, you might have more questions, concerns or simply want to understand why young people might choose to engage in ‘sexting’ and other risky online behaviours. The SBS website offers a viewing guide to parents, as well as some interesting interviews and articles related to the series which will help you to reflect on the content. You will also find the following websites will give you some more information:

• Office of the eSafety Commissioner
• Think U Know
• Reach Out Parents
• Youth Law Australia

You might also like to access the SchoolTV edition on "Sexting" which can be found here

There is no doubt that technology has changed the way that relationships are conducted, but it doesn’t have to impact how we teach young people about trust, communication, consent or any other aspect of a healthy and loving relationship.

Bethany Lord
Director of Pastoral Care