This week is Anti-Bullying Week where the Anti-Bullying Alliance is encouraging all children, teachers and parents to take action against bullying of any kind.
Cyber bullying is no different as the number of incidents of victims being attack online has increased by 37% in the last year alone.
But what is cyber bullying?
Cyber bullying is a form of bullying which takes place online or through smartphones and tablets. This could be social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or through messaging apps.
Cyber bullying affects all ages of people, including adults, teenagers and children who might be constantly bullied online. Some people do not show any signs that they are being bullied and are too scared to confide in an older adult or teacher.
Cyber bullying can take place during and after school, college or work and it carries on every day.
Bullying UK have some worrying figures on the effect of cyber bullying:
- 20% of children and young people are reluctant to go to school after being cyber bullied
- 28% of young people have reported cyber bullying on Twitter
- Young people are twice as likely to be bullied on Facebook
How are schools trying to stop cyber bullying?
The BBC have reported that cyber bullying has increased by 40% and some teachers are admitting that they do not know how to help their students who confide in them.
A third of teachers have also said that they are not sure what the signs would be if one of their students was a victim of cyber bullying.
This is hard for teachers to spot as students are becoming more technological advanced and can silently abuse their classmates in lessons without any teacher knowing.
Are parents spotting the signs?
In a recent survey by the Sir John Cass’s Foundation, it has shown some interesting results:
- 53% of 320 teenagers have had an embarrassing picture of them posted online
- 22% of parents believe that their children have been bullied online
- 17% of teens have been threatened online
It is hard to read the sings that their child has been bullied online and the victim of the cyber bulling may feel ashamed admitting this to their parents.
What are the signs of someone being bullied?
If you are worried about someone who may be a victim of bullying, here are some signs to look for:
- Low self-esteem
- Withdrawal from family and spending a lot of time alone
- Reluctance to let parents or other family members anywhere near their mobiles or laptops
- Finding excuses to stay away from school or work including school refusal
- A change in personality
How are people trying to stop cyber bullying?
Prince William intervened and has been getting together with big firms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Google and EE to find new ways of helping new people who are victims of bullying online.
The aim is to stop negative behaviour and encouraging people to tell a responsible adult. It has a slogan of “stop, speak and support” when online.
The Prince has felt that this initiative will warn cyber-bullies of the consequences of their actions.
Hopefully the Prince’s initiative will help young people and adults to get help when they have been a victim of constant bullying.