Cyberbullying: Another Painful Assault

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As noted by the images above, the use of the internet has provoked such distress and pain for victims of cyber bullying. In defining cyber bullying,it is indeed bullying that takes place using electronic technology, not the fists or physical assaults. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat and websites. Examples of cyber bullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites and embarrassing pictures, websites or fake profiles.

Children who are being cyber bullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, children who are cyber bullied have a more difficult time in avoiding this behavior and escaping from this bully.

These are some statistics about cyber bullying;

– It can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and reach a child even when he or she is
alone. It can happen any time of the day or night.

– Bulling messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed rapidly to a vast
audience. It can be most difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.

-Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts and photos is extremely difficult
after the posting has been sent.

The effects of cyber bullying upon the victim has grave consequences as noted by the following
research. Victims may;

– Use alcohol and drugs to cope with this painful experience

– Become truant from school

– Further in person bullying may occur to compound this assault.

– Poor grades may result due to all of the stress and tension from such bullying

– The self esteem of this victim may diminish significantly

– Because of all this stress and fear, health problems may occur

The following statistics are frightening;

– Nearly 43% of children have been bullied online and 1 in 4 children have had
this experience more than once.

– Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for
cyber bullying.

– 68% of teens agree that cyber bullying is a serious problem.

-81% of young people believe that bullying online is easier to get away with than
bullying in person

-Only 1 in 10 victims will report this to a parent or trusted adult

-Girls are almost twice as likely as boys to be victims of cyber bullying

-Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.

– Approximately 75% of students admit that they have visited a website bashing another
student.

What can be done to address this problem that not only impacts upon children but adults as well?
First of all,don’t blame yourself! This bully is obviously a dysfunctional person who needs help
and you do not own the problem.This bully is an unhappy, frustrated person who wishes to have control over your feelings so that you will bare the burden of his or her pain.

Do save the evidence of the cyber bully and turn it over to a capable person or a law enforcement officer. Report threats of harm and inappropriate sexual messages to the police and perhaps these actions may be able to be prosecuted by the law. Keep reporting each and every piece of evidence until this bully is apprehended.

Prevent communication from this bully by blocking email addresses, cell phone numbers and deleting them from social media contacts. You could report this abuse to their internet service provider(ISP). Their actions may constitute a violation of the website’s terms of service.

Yes, any form of bullying does significantly impact upon the victim’s life. Reports of suicide, physical and emotional illness are results of this aggressive behavior. As noted in the media,there are so many reports of youngsters taking their lives because they could not tolerate this destructive behavior. It is time to be aware of this dysfunctional behavior and seek help for both the bully and the victim. Do be aware and informed about this epidemic that destroys lives and could touch yours or someone you know.

Let us hear your voice and your feelings about this topic. My next post will summarize the interventions in preventing and eradicating all forms of bullying.

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