Statement on Zoom Event 14 May 2020
- Last night at approximately 19.42 at the end of a fabulous session on Compassion Fatigue the Zoom meeting experienced an intrusive distressing video which lasted 3-4 seconds before Dr Julia Budnik was forced to abruptly end the meeting.
- The police were immediately contacted and both Julia and myself were interviewed for witness statements. The video footage of the whole meeting including the distressing material was removed and then deleted from its sole storage point (a local computer), and taken in secure form by the police.
- The process lasted until shortly before midnight.
- The episode was understandably distressing
- We have no evidence that the episode has infected or hacked anyone’s computer or phone or that the images have been left on your computer unless you were independently recording the event. If the latter you are obliged to contact the police and ask for further advice.
- Hopefully I have personally contacted everyone who has write to me about this incident, however, if not and you wish for further guidance, please note the following below.
- As victims of this crime, any Zoom participants can contact the police to give a statement quoting SXP-2020513-1303.This is the Crime Reference No. for the event. Reporting is not obligatory however.
- If you were distressed or traumatised from last night the advice we have received is that Victim Support on 08081689111 should be your first contact point. However, should you wish for further help beyond that please contact us at email@example.com and we will signpost you.
- We will also be posting a number of other resources relating to Coping with Trauma shortly.
- However, we do not feel that the echo chamber of an unmoderated social media open forum such as a Facebook account or group is the most appropriate place to share thoughts and feelings of this nature. Hence we would ask people to consider the impact their comments might have on the mental health of other members or readers of their posts.
- As you will know we had already announced before last night that future Zoom sessions would require pre-registration. However, we will be looking at this again in more detail and we will be updating you very shortly on how we will proceed regarding future Thursday evening sessions.
- A couple of points to make at this stage about the security of the Zoom sessions. There is an ongoing balance between accessibility and security. Although waiting rooms, passwords and closing the meeting after meetings start increases security, we understand that they wouldn’t necessarily have prevented the event that occurred last night.
- Please be assured that we take your safety and security very seriously indeed.
- Finally I would also wish to say that both Julia and myself have been personally touched by the multiple messages of support we have received over the last 20 hours-whether by phone, email or social media. This has been distressing for all of us but we are determined to press on with an ever better quality and secure service to you all.
Director SDS Seminars
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Professor of Clinical Psychology PSMedUniv