16 February 2021

Cyberbullying: What is it and how to stop it

Cyberbullying: What is it and how can we stop it? We brought together UNICEF specialists, international cyberbullying and child protection experts, and teamed up with Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter to answer some of the most common questions about online bullying and give advice on ways to deal with it.  What is cyberbullying?…, The top questions on cyberbullying, 1. Am I being bullied online? How do you tell the difference between a joke and bullying? 2. What are the effects of cyberbullying? 3. How can cyberbullying affect my mental health? 4. Who should I talk to if someone is bullying me online? Why is reporting important? 5. I’m experiencing cyberbullying, but I’m afraid to talk to my parents about it…, 1. Am I being bullied online? How do you tell the difference between a joke and bullying?, UNICEF:  All friends joke around with each other, but sometimes it’s hard to tell if someone is just having fun or trying to hurt you, especially online. Sometimes they’ll laugh it off with a “just kidding,” or “don’t take it so seriously.”  But if you feel hurt or think others are laughing at you instead of with you, then the joke has gone too…, 2. What are the effects of cyberbullying?, UNICEF: When bullying happens online it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your own home. It can seem like there’s no escape. The effects can last a long time and affect a person in many ways: Mentally — feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even angry  Emotionally — feeling ashamed or losing interest in the things you love…, 3. How can cyberbullying affect my mental health?, UNICEF: When you experience cyberbullying you might start to feel ashamed, nervous, anxious and insecure about what people say or think about you. This can lead to withdrawing from friends and family, negative thoughts and self-talk, feeling guilty about things you did or did not do, or feeling that you are being judged negatively. Feeling lonely…, 4. Who should I talk to if someone is bullying me online? Why is reporting important?, UNICEF:  If you think you’re being bullied, the first step is to seek help from someone you trust such as your parents, a close family member or another trusted adult. In your school you can reach out to a counsellor, the sports coach or your favourite teacher – either online or in person. And if you are not comfortable talking to someone you know…, 5. I’m experiencing cyberbullying, but I’m afraid to talk to my parents about it. How can I approach them?, UNICEF:  If you are experiencing cyberbullying, speaking to a trusted adult – someone you feel safe talking to – is one of the most important first steps you can take. Talking to parents isn’t easy for everyone. But there are things you can do to help the conversation. Choose a time to talk when you know you have their full attention. Explain how…, 6. How can I help my friends report a case of cyberbullying especially if they don’t want to do it?, UNICEF:  Anyone can become a victim of cyberbullying. If you see this happening to someone you know, try to offer support. It is important to listen to your friend. Why don’t they want to report being cyberbullied? How are they feeling? Let them know that they don’t have to formally report anything, but it’s crucial to talk to someone who might be…, 7. How do we stop cyberbullying without giving up access to the Internet?, UNICEF:  Being online has so many benefits. However, like many things in life, it comes with risks that you need to protect against. If you experience cyberbullying, you may want to delete certain apps or stay offline for a while to give yourself time to recover. But getting off the Internet is not a long-term solution. You did nothing wrong, so…, 8. How do I prevent my personal information from being used to manipulate or humiliate me on social media?, UNICEF:  Think twice before posting or sharing anything online – it may stay online forever and could be used to harm you later. Don’t give out personal details such as your address, telephone number or the name of your school. Learn about the privacy settings of your favourite social media apps. Here are some actions you can take on many of them…, 9. Is there a punishment for cyberbullying?, UNICEF:  Most schools take bullying seriously and will take action against it. If you are being cyberbullied by other students, report it to your school. People who are victims of any form of violence, including bullying and cyberbullying, have a right to justice and to have the offender held accountable. Laws against bullying, particularly on…, 10. Technology companies don’t seem to care about online bullying and harassment. Are they being held responsible?, UNICEF:  Internet companies are increasingly paying attention to the issue of online bullying. Many of them are introducing ways to address it and  better protect their users  with  new tools, guidance and ways to report  online abuse. But it is true that even more is needed. Many young people experience cyberbullying every day. Some face extreme…, 11. Are there any online anti-bullying tools for children or young people?, UNICEF:  Each social platform offers different tools (see available ones below) that allow you to restrict who can comment on or view your posts or who can connect automatically as a friend, and to report cases of bullying. Many of them involve simple steps to block, mute or report cyberbullying. We encourage you to explore them. Social media…
15 February 2021

How to talk to decision-makers about bullying in schools

Know your rights, Every child has the right to go to school safe from violence, including from their peers. Children also have the right to privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of information. When children are victims of bullying and cyberbullying, these rights are not respected. Having a legislative and policy framework that guarantees children’s rights to…, Why engage policymakers?, As part of UNICEF’s campaign to #ENDviolence in and around schools, children and young people from around the world spoke out and called for governments, teachers, and parents to take action to ensure that they feel safe in and around school. In two separate UNICEF polls, young people consistently cited governments as having a key responsibility…, How can policymakers help prevent bullying?, To be an effective advocate, the most important first step is to know what policies, regulations or laws are available in your community. You can learn more through research, talking to school officials, other parents, and community leaders or even your local UNICEF office. Some questions you might consider asking are:  Are statistics and data on…, How can I effectively engage my policymakers?, Given that policymakers have a lot of issues to address, it is important to find out the best way to influence them. A few effective ways to engage policymakers depending on where you live include: Writing a letter, calling or meeting with your policymaker Speaking at a town hall meeting or a committee meeting related to schools and violence…, Take action, In addition to engaging decision-makers, you can work with your child and schools to prevent and address bullying. Learn more about how you can be a support system for your child and work with your local schools to make schools safer for students:
15 February 2021

How to talk to your children about bullying

Watching your child experience the physical and emotional pain of bullying or cyberbullying is heartbreaking.  Some parents are unsure where to begin to help protect their children from bullying and violence. Others may not know if their children are victims, bystanders or even perpetrators of harmful behaviours.  Here are some tips on how to…, Understanding the basics, What is bullying? You can usually identify bullying through the following three characteristics: intent, repetition, and power. A bully intends to cause pain, either through physical harm or hurtful words or behaviour, and does so repeatedly. Boys are more likely to experience physical bullying, while girls are more likely to experience…, Starting with prevention, How can I help prevent bullying in my child’s school? The first step to keeping your child safe, whether in-person or online, is making sure they know the issue.  Educate your children about bullying. Once they know what bullying is, your children will be able to identify it more easily, whether it is happening to them or someone else.  Talk…, Responding to bullying, What should I do if my child is being bullied or threatened? If you know your child is being bullied, there are several steps you can take to help them: Listen to your child openly and calmly. Focus on making them feel heard and supported, instead of trying to find the cause of the bullying or trying to solve the problem. Make sure they know that…, Take action, In addition to being a support system to your child, you can work with your school and even your local or national decision-makers and local leaders to change policies to prevent and address bullying. Learn more: