With the advent of the Internet, bullies are now able to contact their victims online, and continue their abuse even after school has ended. They can use any electronical means they like to try to harass their victims.
CAUSES OF CYBERBULLYING
One of the main causes for bullying, and cyberbullying, is the bully’s home life. Often, they come from homes where bullying and abuse is the norm. Increases in cases of domestic violence have led to an increase in bullying in American schools, and cases of cyberbullying are rising even more rapidly.
Another issue with bullying is being a victim. If someone has experienced being bullied, then they are more likely to develop aggressive behavior that can last well into adulthood. This can then result in them becoming more anti-social and struggling with self-esteem issues which leads to possible isolation.
DANGERS OF CYBERBULLYING
The mental anguish that is brought on by cyberbullying is the biggest danger to kids who experience it. They can easily become depressed and anxious, fearing going to school or even leaving their homes through worrying about what will happen. They can develop physical symptoms such as stomachaches or headaches. Mentally, the depression can eat away at them and they will likely stay quiet about it. As children and teenagers may feel embarrassed or scared, they don’t speak up about it, and it can lead to tragic stories of suicide, leaving families and friends wondering what they could have done.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Despite many who are being bullied thinking that they’re trapped, this isn’t the case, but it is up to people around them to help. There are many ways in which it is possible to help those being bullied, and they require little effort, too. Make friends with those who are being bullied, as this will help them feel less alone. Talking to a child experiencing bullying also helps, and kids should be encouraged to speak with a trained counselor, or at the very least a teacher who can help them.
As well as this, making sure children know the correct response to cyberbullies is important. They should ignore them, and never respond. No information should be shared, either. If they are targeted, then children should also keep any messages that can prove cyberbullying, as they can be reported to the authorities. Using the report button that websites have is useful, as the webmaster should be able to suspend and take action against anyone found to be cyberbullying.