Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place via technology. Whether on gaming sites, through a mobile device or via a social networking site, the effects can be devastating for the young people involved. With online technologies accessible 24 hours a day, cyberbullying can be relentless. It can also intrude on spaces that were previously personal, for example at home; it can feel that there is no escape from it.
21% of 8 to 11 year olds have been deliberately targeted, threatened or humiliated by an individual or group through the use of mobile phone or the internet.
Beatbullying, Virtual Violence II
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD IS BEING CYBERBULLIED?
Offer reassurance and support - Your child may be in need of emotional support or feel like they have nowhere to turn. It is rare that cyberbullying is only taking place online and is often someone your child knows through school or a group they attend. Their school should have policies and procedures for dealing with cyberbullying. Your child could visit the Childline website to find advice. If they wanted to talk to someone directly and in confidence they could also call Childline on 0800 1111
Tell your child that if they are being bullied to always keep the evidence - Whether it’s a text message or email, tell them not to reply to the bully or delete the comments. Ask your child if they know the bully or where the messages are coming from. Often it is someone within the school environment and can be dealt with quickly and effectively with assistance from the school.
Block the bullies - If someone is bullying your child on a social networking or chat site encourage them to block or delete the individual so that they can’t be contacted by them anymore.
Report any bullying content to the website it’s hosted on - If content has been posted, for example a video or image, which is upsetting your child you should report it to the website, for example, Facebook. Learn how you would report content on sites like Facebook and YouTube; every site is different. Contacting the website is the only way to get the offensive content removed, unless it is illegal. In cases of illegal content for example indecent images or videos of young people under 18, contact your local police or report it to CEOP.