Keep Calm & Report Cyberbullying
Most students who are bullied do not report their experiences. This was the case 30 years ago and still is the case today according to Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Centre, Justin W Patchin.
A pilot study from 15 years ago even confirms this, showing fewer than 15% of those who had been cyberbullied told an adult about it. Of this, 10% informed a parent, while 5% reported it to the school.
Interestingly though, in a 2010 study conducted by Patchin and his co-researchers, 39% of students who are being bullied tell a friend.
Since 2016, trends are becoming more positive and showing more students are turning to adults for support. However, this does not hide the fact that cyberbullying is still an issue, with figures from the Australian Government showing 1 in 5 young Australians are impacted by it.
The Greatest Way To Stop Bullying Of Any Kind
Don’t be a bystander.
This action has been promoted a lot throughout society and that is because it’s key to mitigating bullying of any kind. Not being a bystander means standing up to those bullying others and taking action against what you know is wrong.
Sometimes, the ones bullying don’t realise what they are doing and need a simple reminder. Other times, more extensive steps need to be taken.
Top Ten Tips For Teens
From the Cyberbullying Research Centre, a ten-step guide to standing up to Cyberbullying is accessible.
For your convenience these steps are listed below:
REPORT TO SCHOOL. If someone from your school is being cyberbullied, report it. Most schools usually have anonymous reporting systems so that you don’t have to disclose your identity.
COLLECT EVIDENCE. Take a screenshot, or download and save the abusive content. This will make it easier for an adult to help you.
REPORT TO SITE/APP/GAME. All reputable online platforms prohibit abuse of other users within their terms and condition and provide easy tools to report violations. Don’t hesitate to report abusive behaviour if you see it.
TALK TO A TRUSTED ADULT. Turn to a trusted adult whenever you (or a friend) experience something negative online. This could be a parent, teacher, counsellor, coach, or family friend.
DEMONSTRATE CARE. Show the person being cyberbullied that they are not alone. Send them an encouraging or supportive message.
WORK TOGETHER. Gather your friends and establish a plan to counter negativity with positivity. If you know of someone who is being cyberbullied, post kind messages on their wall or nice comments on a photo they’ve posted. Encourage others to help report the harm. There is strength in numbers.
TELL THEM TO STOP. If you know the person who is doing the cyberbullying, tell them to stop: when you remain silent, you are basically telling them that it is ok to do what they’re doing.
DON’T ENCOURAGE IT. If you see cyberbullying happening, don’t support it in any way. Don’t forward it, don’t add emojis in the comments, don’t gossip about it with your friends, and don’t stand on the sidelines.
STAY SAFE. Never put yourself in harm’s way. When your emotions are running high, resist posting something that may escalate the situation, and instead wait until you have calmed down to respond (or don’t respond at all).
DON’T GIVE UP. Think creatively about what more can be done to stop cyberbullying and share your ideas.
For more information on cyberbullying visit:
Bullying. No Way! — Facts and Figures
Cyberbullying Research Centre — Resources
Family Insights Book — The Parents’ Survival Guide To Children, Technology and the Internet