Cyber bullying or online bullying is a form of bullying that involves the use of electronic media. It has become common among teenagers, especially middle and high school students in America. Off late, it has started affecting people from all walks of life. Cyber bullying can totally overwhelm you and make you feel embarrassed with the devastating experience that you go through. Many children feel uncomfortable to confide in an adult, especially parents, as they feel ashamed and wonder what their reactions would be. Whether they will be judged, advised to ignore such issues, or close their online accounts which they might be reluctant to do. Victims of cyber bullying should seek advice from a cyber bullying attorney to remedy the situation.
Cyber bullying can affect the daily lives of the victims and is a constant source of distress, worry and anxiety. With infiltration of internet and smart phones, it has become continuous and relentless. Cyber bullying has reached monumental proportions. It doesn’t end after school, college, or work is over and spills over to the next day. The same cycle keeps on repeating. It is well known that cyber bullying has often resulted in the victims taking extreme steps, like self-harm, suicide, etc. Clearly, it’s time to take concrete steps to protect people from online bullying, especially children, who are the most vulnerable.
If you feel your child or a loved one might be the victim of cyber bullying, immediately consult an online harassment lawyer.
Traits Of A Cyber Bullying Victim
Victims of cyber bullying would generally demonstrate some of these traits:
- Low self esteem
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Spending lot of time alone
- Not allowing others to see their phones or laptops
- Finding excuses to avoid going to school
- Losing weight or changing appearance
- Change in personality
- Easily getting angry
- Dressing differently, etc.
How To Support A Cyber Bullying Victim
Anyone who is a victim of cyber bullying needs emotional support to stand up and get back to normal ways of life. Family and friends play a crucial role in giving support to the victim.
As a well wisher, you should:
Reinforce that no one deserves to be treated like this, and it is not their fault.
Tell them that there is help available to them.
- Encourage them to talk to a teacher whom they can trust so they feel safe at school
- Encourage them to talk to their parents. If it is difficult to do so, encourage them to communicate their problems through letters.
- Take screen shots of the cyber bullying to keep as proof of it happening and report all abuse to the concerned social media networks.
- Encourage them to maintain a diary where they can write down their innermost thoughts and feelings which will help to avoid feelings from building up.
- Praise them for being so brave and talking things through.
- Make use of whatever complaint policies are available with school authorities or the police.
Apart from the above mentioned things, you must seek help from internet defamation and bullying attorneys. Recent statistics show that, 20% of school children are reluctant to go to school for the fear of cyber bullies, 5% reported self harm and 3% have attempted suicide
Support And Help
Whenever you think your child might be in a danger of self harming or might be having suicidal thoughts, keep the school authorities informed in writing and keep a formal record of every incident. See if any pastoral support is available at the school. Talk to your GP and professional organisations which might be able to offer help and support like, Harmless or the National Self Harm Network Forum. Remember that you are important for your child, and, therefore, should keep yourself relaxed and in good frame of mind to better support your child. Young Minds is a national charity organisation that is committed to improving the emotional and mental status of children and adults under the age of 25. They also have a parents’ helpline.
It’s not just children, but cyber bullying can have disastrous effects on adults as well. It can make you feel extremely isolated and lonely. Posting malicious and harmful content on social media is very easy and, as it is poorly monitored, can go live before it is reported. It makes people vulnerable and helpless. If you or a loved one is a victim, seek advice from a cyber bullying attorney to file lawsuit against the perpetrators.