ONLINE BULLYING - WEEK 6

/ 15 February 2019

Every week Dame Esther has been focusing on the growing issue and concerns regarding cyberbullying. Esther has been asking the question – do we actually know how many tragic young lives have been lost this way?

Documentation from the Department for Education stated that sixteen children a year take their own lives due to being bullied.  However, Esther believed that due to the prevalence of cyber-bullying there may be many more.

At the beginning of the series Esther asked Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England if she could find out the tragic truth of the true statistics for young suicides due to bullying.

Subsequently, Do The Right Thing revealed that in the UK in 2017 there were 223 suicides of children aged 10 to 19.  And researched showed that in almost a quarter of suicides bullying was a factor.  Esther explained that this would mean 50 bullied children have taken their lives, that’s nearly one death a week.

Anne Longfield told us we could and should do better, and we agreed. Esther explained she believes we must not only count the suicides but recognize that suicide is a symptom of something else, and the underlying cause must be determined and documented.

Do The Right Thing, contacted the Department of Health and social care. They told us they do want to make sure that young people are safe online. They told us there was a meeting last week called by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which discussed this very issue, but the meeting really focused on self-harm. Esther explained she felt they should also investigate the effect of online-bullying, because only when we map the problem, and understand it, can we save the lives of children.  Children like Katherine, and Felix, who we heard about earlier in our series, who should not have been driven by bullies to end their young lives.

If you have been affected by bullying and need support or advice you can visit the following sources for help / information:

Childline is also there day and night if you need someone to talk to. If you would like to get in contact with Childline, you can call them on 0800 1111 or visit their website www.childline.org.uk for more ways to get in touch.

If you are under 25 and need someone to talk to The Mix offer support and advice for young people. They can help with all sorts of problems from mental health to self-harm, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. You can call them on 0808 808 4994 or visit their website www.themix.org.uk for more ways to get in touch.

For support and advice about bullying and cyberbullying, visit the NSPCC website on: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/bullying-and-cyberbullying/

If you need help, because your child is refusing to attend school as a result of bullying or other trauma, you can find out more about Red Balloon on www.redballoonlearner.org or by calling 01223 366052 or emailing admin@group.rblc.org.uk.

If you would like to know more about The Diana Award and their work in schools to combat bullying, visit their website on: https://diana-award.org.uk/anti-bullying/

If you’d like to get in contact with the National Bullying Helpline, visit nationalbullyinghelpline.co.uk

If you’d like to get in contact with Bully Busters, visit bullybusters.org.uk

If you’d like to get in contact with Anti-Bullying Pro, visit www.antibullyingpro.com/support-centre

If you would like to visit the Ofsted Parent View website use the following link: https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/