In The News09 Aug 2013
How a digital ‘bullying button’ button can help tackle cyber-bullying
As a social worker who works with children and young people, I read with sadness the news this week about the suicide of 14-year-old Hannah Smith. She reportedly took her own life after experiencing bullying online on the website Ask.fm, a site targeting young people and offering a platform to ask and answer questions and leave comments anonymously.
Hannah was the fourth young person to commit suicide after accessing this site since September 2012. The charity BeatBullying estimates one in three young people have been victims of cyber-bullying, with one in 13 experiencing persistent abuse. Of these, 5% resorted to self-harm and 3% reported an attempted suicide.
Bullying is not a new phenomenon, but in this digital age there are so many more channels for bullying to take place. Where previously a young person might have had a few hours of peace after leaving the school gates, now they can experience abuse any time of day or night, in their most private of surroundings through their mobile phone or laptop computer.
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