Statistics from Childline, a helpline sponsored by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) indicate that the volume of children and young people accessing support for online bullying (commonly called cyberbullying) has increased by 88% within the past five years.
Although this may sound troubling, many knowledgeable sources think the real numbers are, in fact, much higher. Cyberbullying has become more prevalent as online access and social media platforms have grown, and it can take many forms, including harassment, stalking and blackmail. It can take place through messaging services, online gaming or via social media platforms.
Cyberbullying is not just an issue faced by the younger demographic; there has also been an increase in online bullying of adults, sometimes known as trolling. Dealing with online bullying is not easy but there are steps that can be taken: If you are concerned about a child experiencing online bullying, or if you feel targeted, there are some actions you can take.
This advice applies to both children and adults. Suffering the abuse alone will only make it seem much worse and can lead to further isolation. Telling someone can help you determine strategies for dealing with the bullying and make you feel more in control.
One way of dealing with persistent online bullying is to remove yourself or the child in question from the website or social media platform that the bully is accessing. Leaving cuts off contact instantaneously, which can alleviate the stress and stop the abuse.
If you or a person you know is the target of online bullying, you can often simply block the perpetrators. This tactic also applies to messaging services, such as Snapchat and WhatsApp, although this may be harder to implement if the victim knows the bully.
As the issue of cyberbullying has become more widely known, many websites offer ways to report inappropriate behaviour, including providing “report” buttons and advice on privacy settings. Submitting an online complaint can lead to the removal of the person from the website or online service.
Finally, if online bullying is becoming a real issue and you or a loved one are starting to feel threatened; you should seek advice from health care professionals, the police and anti-bullying organisations, such as Bullying UK.
If you would like to get more involved in helping children who may be experiencing stressful issues, such as online or face-to-face bullying, Oxbridge Home Learning does offer a Care Counselling for Children Level 2 distance course. This course would be a great place to start. This course will introduce you to core counselling skills and techniques. Furthermore, this highly rewarding course is available to fit around your current lifestyle, flexible, convenient and beneficial.