Bullying is not a normal part of childhood and should never happen. The long-term impact of cyberbullying on a young person’s physical and mental wellbeing can be profound. Cyberbullying, as with all bullying can contribute to mental health disorders, substance misuse and in extreme cases, suicidal ideation.
In this blog, we offer key advice to reduce bullying and mitigate its impact on children and young people. Always remember that every child has the right to live in a safe and healthy environment free from bullying, harassment and intimidation in all forms.
What is Cyberbullying?
The National Bullying Helpline defines Cyberbullying as bullying and harassment using technology. This includes trolling, mobbing, stalking, grooming or any form of abuse online. Cyberbullying can be more difficult to escape than offline bullying, this form of bullying does not stop at the school gates.
Unfortunately, cyberbullying is getting worse. In 2011, 11% of parents in the UK reported that their child was the victim of Cyberbullying. In 2018, this figure rose to 18%. This number is expected to increase as a result of extended lockdown restrictions.
What to do if a Child or Young Person in Your Care is Being Bullied Online
Children and young people in your care may not use the word bullying to describe what is happening to them, so it’s important to listen if they mention things which are upsetting them or worrying them online. You can use the following advice if a child or young person describes an experience which sounds like, or is online bullying: