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Agita Pasaribu: Confidential and Accessible Online Support Against Cyberbullying

Agita Pasaribu: Confidential and Accessible Online Support Against Cyberbullying

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Agita Pasaribu, the founder and executive director of Bullyid App - NMA Foundation. Let’s learn about what’s happening there and how Agita is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Agita, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Bullyid App - NMA Foundation?

Agita: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! During the COVID-19 pandemic, something else was silently escalating on our little planet: cyber harassment and online gender-based violence. Sadly, victims had nowhere to turn for help. It was a tough time, with isolation on one hand and increased online vulnerabilities on the other. We saw a gap—a big one—for confidential, accessible support. So, we launched Bullyid App, aiming to be a digital beacon of hope. We aim to provide victims with robust online mental health support, legal advice, and tech solutions to keep them safe and sound in the digital realm. It's about turning the tables on cyber harassment, giving power back to those who felt powerless.

Spiffy: Wow, that’s so inspiring! What motivates you to do it, Agita?

Agita: It's the belief that everyone deserves a safe space online. Imagine feeling threatened in your own digital backyard, a place that should empower and connect you, not scare you. That notion didn't sit right with me. I've seen the shadows that online harassment casts over lives, dimming the bright spark of creativity and connection the internet promises. Starting Bullyid App wasn't just a choice, it felt like a calling. Every message of thanks we receive, every person we help, fuels my passion to keep fighting. Knowing we're making the digital world a bit brighter, one person at a time, is what keeps us going. It's about reclaiming the internet as a space of safety and positivity. That's our North Star.

Spiffy: I love that! What is the impact of your work?

Agita: Bullyid App’s mission is crystal clear—prevent cyber harassment through awareness, education, and support. We’ve directly impacted over 220,000 lives, including kids, youth, women, and educators, with our digital platforms and educational modules. Our approach intertwines psychological, legal, and technological support, empowering over 75,000 individuals to navigate online spaces safely. By partnering with over 200 organizations, we amplify our message, embedding prevention and awareness into the fabric of daily digital interactions. Our work goes beyond assistance; it's about crafting a safer online world through education and proactive prevention, ensuring that more people are equipped to stand against cyber harassment confidently.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?

Agita: A landmark achievement for Bullyid App was the introduction of our AI-driven Relationship Health Check tool. Designed to empower individuals to discern their relationships, this innovative tool provides immediate insights into whether one’s interactions are healthy or potentially harmful. Since its inception, we’ve witnessed a 40% uptick in users engaging with the tool, seeking clarity on their personal situations. This surge underscores the tool's critical role in early detection of red flags in relationships, encouraging users to seek help proactively. Our AI tool not only represents a technological leap in preventive mental health care, but also significantly expands our capacity to aid those questioning their relationship dynamics.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Agita: A young woman, overwhelmed because her partner persistently forced her to send intimate pictures. Initially, she didn't know if her discomfort was justified or who to turn to. Discovering our AI-driven Relationship Health Check tool was a turning point for her. It helped her understand that her situation was indeed serious and unhealthy. With newfound clarity and the support we offered, she bravely navigated away from the toxic relationship, sought legal advice, and took steps to protect her online privacy. Her journey from vulnerability to empowerment exemplifies the transformative effect of Bullyid App’s work. It’s stories like hers that highlight the critical need for our support.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Agita —it’s been an honor!

Agita Pasaribu, founder and executive director of Bullyid App, is an innovator at the intersection of technology and social justice. Dedicated to combating cyber harassment, her work empowers victims with essential legal, psychological, and technological support, driving significant advancements in online safety and digital well-being. (First published on the Ladderworks website on March 29, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.