Chat to other families
Cyber bullying affects people from any age or walk of life, including children, teens and adults who all feel very distressed and alone when being bullied online. Cyber bullying can make you feel totally overwhelmed which can result in many feeling embarrassed that they are going through such a devastating time, and not knowing what support is available to them. Many children feel unable to confide in an adult because they feel ashamed and wonder whether they will be judged, told to ignore it or close their account which they might not want to do.
For many cyber bullying affects their everyday lives and is a constant source of distress and worry. With mobile technology being so freely available it is an ongoing issue and one that is relentless. Not only does it go on after school, college or work has finished, but it then carries through into the next day and the cycle continues. It has been well documented that cyber bullying has resulted in tragic events including suicide, and self-harm and clearly, more needs to be done in order to protect vulnerable children and adults from online bullying.
If you are worried that your child or a loved one might be the victim of cyber bullying here are some signs to look out for:-
Ref: Beat Bullying Virtual Violence II report commissioned by Nominet Trust http://archive.beatbullying.org/dox/media-centre/news-archive/Feb%202012/Virtual-Violence-II-The-Real-Impact-Of-Cyberbullying.html
Ditch the Label http://www.ditchthelabel.org/cyberbullying-statistics/
We know that cyber bullying can have devastating impacts on some children and young adults, especially when they feel there is no let up from the abuse. So what help is available if you feel your child might be in danger of self harming or having suicidal thoughts?
Keep the school involved and put things in writing so you have a formal record of what has been going on. Ask the school if there is any pastoral support your child can access.
Remember that you are important too so it’s crucial that you are taking good care of yourself. The more relaxed you are feeling the better able you will be to support your child.
If you are worried that your child is having suicidal thoughts seek some medical advice from your GP. Young Minds is a national charity committed to improving the emotional and mental wellbeing of all children and young adults under the age of 25. They have a parents’ helpline where you can talk your situation through with a trained adviser.
But it’s not just children, Family Lives understands that cyber bullying affects adults too. We know that cyber bullying can also have a devastating impact on adults and can make you feel extremely isolated. It is very easy to post malicious and hurtful posts on social media sites as there is very little moderation and posts can go “live” before they can be reported. This can leave people feeling very vulnerable and at a loss as to what they can do.
We know it can take time for reported posts to be removed from social media sites and this only adds to the distress that users feel. Knowing that a post is “live” and nothing has been done to remove it can leave people feeling extremely stressed so it is important that people know what they can do. Having someone to talk to is crucial and can be a real lifesaver.
Family Lives are always here to offer emotional support so if you feel talking things through with a trained support worker would be helpful do use our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222.