Thursday 03 December 2020
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READER LETTER: "They tell us how it can feel impossible to escape"

READER LETTER:

Monday 16 November 2020

READER LETTER: "They tell us how it can feel impossible to escape"


As we enter Anti-Bullying Week, the head of a local children's charity issued this reminder...

Every year thousands of children contact Childline about being bullied online and tell us how it can feel impossible to escape.

Every year thousands of children contact Childline about being bullied online and tell us how it can feel impossible to escape.

Lockdown has intensified these feelings for many and since April we’ve counselled more than 1,500 children and young people across the UK and Channel Islands about online bullying.

Children have told us about people sending threatening text messages and being pressured into engaging in sexual conversations. Others have shared how they’ve been excluded from online games by other children, whilst some spoke of online identities being stolen to embarrass or cause trouble using a child’s name.

Before lockdown measures were first introduced, from January to March per month there were on average 134 counselling sessions with children on online bullying. That monthly average has increased by 84% to 246 counselling sessions from April to September.

This Anti Bullying Week, it’s important to reinforce the long-term impact bullying can have on the mental wellbeing of a child, and how important it is that every child knows who they can turn to for support. 

If a parent thinks their child is being bullied online, it can be hard to remain calm, but it’s crucial not to overwhelm a child with questions. Taking their device away is likely to make them feel like whatever has happened is their fault; instead it’s helpful to listen to their worries, suggest they take some time away from certain apps, and provide them with reassurance.

Sabrina Charpentier
Team Manager at NSPCC Jersey

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