ChildLine Worried about Cyber Bullying increase.
ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen has dire concerns with the amount of children exposed to cyberbullying and has implored parents to give their children more time to talk about their issues and fears.
Rising numbers of children are turning to self harm, depression or even suicidal thoughts because of family problems, bullying etc. Many of these cases are exacerbated by persistent cyberbullying; sadly many parents, teachers or authority figures do not pick this up, often, until it is too late.
Peter Wanless, chief executive of NSPCC believes that many parents or teachers do not pick up cyberbullying signs because it was not an issue in their youth. He said:
“The issues facing children today are very different from those that faced us as children. Stranger danger, for example, rarely comes up in contacts to ChildLine but depression, self-harm, online bullying and even suicide contacts are increasing exponentially.
If we are to help young people we need to listen to what they are telling us about the issues they are facing.
ChildLine is one of the most important sources of information about vulnerable children in the UK and these regular snapshots will help us keep one step ahead and focused on the areas that are really concerning them right now.”
In 2011-2012 the number of cyberbullying cases stood at a figure of 2,410 by 2012-2013, this had risen to 4507 cases. A disturbing increase in online abuse for a new generation.
So, what is being done to tackle this modern form of bullying? The Department of Education has released plans to put measures in place that will discourage cyberbullying and teach children the dangers of the internet and internet safety so that they can safely filter out bullies or spot bullying behaviour before it infiltrates their lives.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said:
“Thanks to our new curriculum, children will soon be taught how to stay safe online, including cyberbullying, from the age of five.
We have strengthened the powers teachers have to tackle bullying. They can search pupils for banned items, delete inappropriate images from phones and give out same-day detentions.
We are also providing more than £4m for a range of anti-bullying organisations to help schools develop strategies to tackle the problem and deal with the impact when it occurs.”