Jade Robson-Whitehouse Missing From Melbourne With Internet Friend

4 min read
Jade Robson-Whitehouse Missing From Melbourne With Internet Friend

The parents of a 14-year-old girl from Melbourne’s Southeast are in shock today after their daughter disappeared with a friend she met on the internet.

It’s yet another story that proves a worrying trend in Australia about a lack of education on internet safety.

Jade Robson-Whitehouse went missing on Saturday from her family home after spending the day with the unknown girl who Jade’s parents believe introduced herself with a fake name. Jade’s parents Tracey Harris and Kim Whitehouse believe that Jade met the girl on the internet. They had never met her before she arrived at their house on Saturday with Jade.

Initially, Jade had requested that the girl be allowed to spend the night, but as neither Harris nor Whitehouse had ever met the girl before, they asked to speak with her mother. This is when things started to get a little suspicious, and Harris decided that she would take the girl home. However, after leaving the room to put on her shoes, she returned to find both Jade and the unknown girl gone. This was 8pm on Saturday night.

yahoo | Stay at Home
via mamamia


Although it appears Jade has made contact with a friend on Facebook she did not attend school on Monday and police are still worried about her safety, and her parents are beside themselves. With no money and no mobile phone, Jade has no way of getting in touch with her parents. Her family describe her as being around 150cm tall, slim build with long auburn-coloured hair and green eyes, and are very worried about her safety. They urge her to come home, and want her to know that they love her very much.

What Does This Have To Do With Internet Safety?

We are in a complicated time at the moment. Our teenagers and even our primary aged children have full access to the wider worlds of the internet, and all the unsavoury things that come with it. Although parents might have the best intentions at heart in giving their children free range online and not meddling in their activity, there have been a number of stories lately that might make parents rethink that attitude.

The issue here is that many parents aren’t fully aware of what their kids are doing online, or even what can be done online. The opportunity for people to take advantage, and for children to meet strangers are so high it’s a wonder that parents aren’t more concerned. We educate against stranger danger in the real world, but the world of the internet is much more sinister. Here strangers can become friends in a web of lies that children too easily fall into.

Talking to kids about their online activity is obviously the key thing, but for many parents this is a difficult, if not impossible, conversation to start. This is especially true if your child is a surly teenager who think they know that much more than you. The sad truth is when it comes to the internet, they probably do. These kids are a new generation, a digital generation who don’t think twice about sharing their entire lives on the internet, leaving them wide open to advantage from others.

Of course we can’t make any assumptions about what happened in the case of Jade Robson-Whitehouse. We don’t know her history, her individual family situation or even what she was thinking. We don’t know if she left her home willingly, was coerced, or was spirited away by the girl and perhaps people unknown. In truth, we don’t even know if she met the girl on the internet. But we do know that, in many ways, this unknown girl represents all that parents should be on the lookout within their children’s online activity. She is a stranger, she gave a fake name, and she isn’t a part of Jade’s existing friend circle. Essentially, she’s a single influencer, with the power to pressure Jade into doing something she might regret.

We do hope that Jade is unharmed, and that she realises her parents are there to help her and want her to be home safe where she belongs. We hope that this story, unlike so many others, has a happy ending. We hope that it’s not a tragedy that teaches, but rather a close call that brings parents down to reality, and motivates them to talk to their kids. We hope that is starts a dialogue about personal reputation, safety, and open communication between parents and children on everything online. These might be empty hopes from us, but it’s up to Australian parents to make them a reality.

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About Author

Oceana Setaysha

Senior Writer A passionate writer since her early school days, Oceana has graduated from writing nonsense stories to crafting engaging content for...Read Morean online audience. She enjoys the flexibility to write about topics from lifestyle, to travel, to family. Although not currently fulfilling the job of parent, her eight nieces and nephews keep her, and her reluctant partner, practiced and on their toes. Oceana holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Writing and Indonesian, and has used her interest in languages to create a career online. She's also the resident blonde at, where she shares her, slightly dented, wisdom on photography, relationships, travel, and the quirks of a creative lifestyle. Read Less

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