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A campaign launched to raise awareness of the affects that cyberbullying can have on young people

  • The Northern Quota has officially launched its #RefuseTheAbuse campaign.
  • NQ reporter, Matthew Blake aims to raise awareness on the effects cyberbullying can have on young people who use social media. Looking at ways to protect yourself from the abuse and who you can speak to should you be targeted.
  • It’s okay to talk about the issue of cyberbullying.

#RefuseTheAbuse

Given the digital age we now live in, bullying has stemmed in to a new evil form, cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying can affect anybody but is most common in young people due to the rate at which they use social media. It often consists of posting hateful content either directly or indirectly to a certain individual. This usually causes the victim to experience psychological, emotional and physical stress.

Whereas bullying is often associated with social situations like school and sports teams, cyberbullying is relentless. Mobile technology is so widely accessible now that the victims can be in the firing line 24 hours a day.

It’s not a surprise to see it’s young people who are most affected by this issue. A survey conducted by ‘Children’s Society’ across 1000 young people aged between 11 and 25 brought about some distressing figures that represent the extent of cyberbullying in the UK. 46% of the respondents said they’d experienced some form of cyberbullying through social media, with 26% of those saying it’s continued in the past 12 months.

82% of those people believe that social media platforms should do more to tackle and protect individuals from cyberbullying. This figure clearly shows there is not enough action being taken to nullify an issue that can lead to further mental health issues.

How can young people deal with the trauma of being cyber-bullied?

Speaking to someone is often the hardest part. They feel embarrassed and nervous about speaking out, with the possible knock-on effects looming over their head, but it’s okay to speak out about the issue. There is support out there for young people affected by this issue.

Could more be done in education to provide young people with support?

Given the fact that 78% of seven to 16 year olds use social media (ChildWise), could teachers begin to focus educational lessons on how young people can protect themselves from cyberbullying and reinforce the fact that they are there to provide support. Lessons could be tailored around what steps can be taken to tackle cyberbullying, ways to report an attack and how to set up a social media profile with the necessary safety settings.

This campaign is to raise awareness of the health implications cyberbullying can have on young people, but also to provide them with support and guide them in the direction of someone that can support them.

Please show support for the victims of cyberbullying and sign the petition HERE.

Stay up to date with the campaign online through the official #RefuseTheAbuse website, as well as the Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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