The Sussexes are spotlighting a cause close to their hearts: the eradication of online child abuse.
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on online child safety in front of an audience of tech leaders and dozens of parents whose children have suffered or died due to online abuse. At the conference, Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg openly apologized to families who say his social media platforms contributed to their children’s suicides or mental health troubles. He was one of five tech executives called to testify during the hearing.
Inspired by the powerful hearing, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared a statement on their Archewell Foundation website, as well as a video of them speaking on the subject of online bullying at a recent conference.
“We applaud the bravery and determination of the thousands of parents around the country whose advocacy resulted in this hearing,” the Sussexes began in their statement. “Over the past few years, we have spent time with many of these families, listening to their heartache and their hopes for the urgent change that is needed in the online space. This is an issue that transcends division and party lines, as we saw today at the Senate hearing.”
Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation has built a support network for families dealing with grief after having lost a child to online abuse, or whose children are managing mental health problems as a result of exposure to harmful online content.
“The best parenting in the world cannot keep children safe from these platforms. As one of the fathers shared with us: ‘If love could have saved them, all of our children would still be here,’” the couple continued. “This is not the time to pass the buck of responsibility. It’s the time to make necessary change at the source to keep our children safe.”
The clip the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared is from their appearance at a World Mental Health Day discussion in New York City last October. (Watch the video here.)
In it, Meghan says: “When the car was first invented, there wasn’t a seatbelt. And what happened? People started to get hurt, people started to die. So you started to change the car.”
Harry adds, “We need to get out of this idea that young kids, there’s something wrong with them. No, it’s the world that we’re allowing to be created around them. Please stop sending children content that you wouldn’t want your own children to see.”