Unfortunately for too many young people, being bullied online has become part of growing up.
The term cyberbullying is used to describe bullying that happens via an electronic device like a smartphone or games console, and it can include anything from aggressive messages to trolling, to posting altered and offensive pictures. To complicate things it is also easier for online bullies to remain anonymous and reach a large audience very quickly by posting on multiple social media sites.
"Just stay offline!" - yes that's a familiar response but because of all the things that you do online, just ignoring the problem is not so easy. And it could also mean that you will be isolated from your friends and support.
20% of children in Suffolk admit to having been cyberbullied - and 74% say they know someone it has happened to*
It’s clear that one of the reasons why young people decide not to tell anyone about the fact that they’re being cyberbullied is because they are scared of what will happen. The good news is that this is changing, and more young people are reporting what’s happening to them. Remember, you’re the victim here, and you shouldn’t suffer in silence. There are places and people you can turn to, who will help and not make the situation worse.
The best thing to do first of all is talk to your parent/carer or an adult you trust. Cyberbullying is not something that you can tackle on your own. However if you're not sure about taking that step just yet, there are some very helpful websites where you can go to for help and support or to make a report about what's happening to you.
Thinkyouknow is a great guide to internet safety and safe surfing for young people: www.thinkuknow.co.uk
Report it! If a young person is at risk of sexual abuse or harm then head straight away to www.ceop.police.uk/Ceop-Report/
Watch our short film on zero tolerance to bullying on our YouTube channel.
*2013 e-Safer Suffolk cybersurvey of 1685 children and young people
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