“It would be naive to think you have never been bullied”

Dominique Scherer – Co-founder of BULLYOUT

When Bullying Turns Deadly: 10 Ugly Truths About Cyberbullying in Australia

 Cyberbullying in Australia

Bullying is a controversial issue tackled by countries all over the world. Cyberbullying in Australia can be observed in people’s homes, at work, and in school. All kinds of bullying are ugly and can be harmful to victims – from reduced self-confidence and self-worth to more severe cases of depression, and worst, suicide. It is repetitive, with various digital platforms from which to carry out aggression and it never sleeps – it can occur everywhere and anyone can be a victim of this type of bullying.

Cyberbullying is the application of electronic communication to bully a person by transmitting words of harassment that are threatening or intimidating in nature. Cyberbullying is a very serious issue in Australia for the reason that most of the victims don’t know how to handle this situation. There have been various of instances where cyberbullying has driven multiple individuals to commit suicide.

  1.       Subject and weak. Victims of cyberbullying often find it hard to feel secure. This is because the bully can penetrate their home through a computer or cell phone anytime. Victims will feel unsafe even if they are in their homes. Additionally, because the bullies can remain unknown, this can increase feelings of fear.
  2.       Shown and humiliated. Because cyberbullying occurs in cyberspace, online bullying feels unlikely to change. Once the victim knows that something is out there, in their minds, it will always be out there. When cyberbullying continues, inappropriate posts, messages or lines can be shared instantly with many people. The volume of people that know about the bullying can commence to intense emotions of shame.
  3.       Discontented with who they are. Cyberbullying usually attacks victims where they are most exposed. As a result, targets of cyberbullying typically begin to question their value and usefulness. They may react to these feelings by harming themselves in many ways. Often, victims will try to change something about their appearance or attitude to avoid additional cyberbullying.
  4.       Angry and vengeful. Sometimes, victims of cyberbullying in Australia will get mad about what is currently happening to them. As a result, they plot revenge and assault in punishment. This way is dangerous because it holds them locked in the bully-victim sequence. The truth of getting revenge from the bully is it can make the situation even worse.
  5.       Disinterested in life. When cyberbullying continues, victims often relate others differently from them. For many, being bullied can feel useless and senseless. They lower their interest in things they once experienced and use less time interacting with their loved ones. And in some circumstances, depression and thoughts of suicide can set in. If you happen to notice a difference in your loved one’s condition, get him/her evaluated by a specialist as soon as possible.
  6.       Alone and isolated. Cyberbullying sometimes causes teens to be excluded and ostracised at school. This experience is particularly painful because friends are crucial at this age. When kids don’t have friends, this can lead to more bullying. What’s even worse, when cyberbullying occurs, most people recommend shutting off the computer or turning off the cell phone. But, for teens, this often means cutting off communication with their world. Their phones and their networks are one of the most important ways to communicate with others. If that option for connection is removed, they can feel secluded and cut off from their world.
  7.       Lack of Interest in School. Cyberbullying victims usually have higher rates of getting absenteeism at school than those who don’t experience bullying. Victims try to skip school to avoid the bullies or because they are ashamed of the humiliation they received online. Their grades will be affected because they find it hard to concentrate and get distracted by the stress caused by bullying. And in some cases, victims will either leave out of school or lose interest in continuing their education.
  8.       Anxious and depressed. Victims of cyberbullying in Australia often succumb to anxiety, depression and other stress-related conditions. This occurs primarily because cyberbullying erodes their self-confidence and self-esteem. The stress they experience from the bullying will slowly remove their happiness and contentment in life.
  9.       Ill or sick. When victims are cyberbullied, they often experience headaches, indigestions or other physical ailments. The stress of bullying also can cause stress-related conditions like stomach ulcers and skin conditions. Also, kids who are cyberbullied may experience changes in eating habits like skipping meals or binge eating. And their sleep patterns may be changed. They may suffer from insomnia, sleep more than usual, or experience nightmares.
  10.      Suicidal. Cyberbullying raises the risk of suicide. People that are always tormented by peers through text messages, social media and other outlets, often begin to feel hopeless. They may even start to feel like the only way to escape the pain is through suicide. If your child is being cyberbullied, do not dismiss their feelings. Be sure you communicate daily, take measures to help stop the torment and monitor always the changes in mood and behaviour. Get your child assessed by a healthcare expert if you notice any character changes at all.

Someone else’s action is sometimes one of the factors that can affect the mind of the suicide victim but one can rarely say that, under criminal law, it “caused” the suicide. When bullying leads to death, it is deeply tragic, but the reality is that this result is exceptionally few. Millions of teens experienced bullying every year that leads to suicide but only a few understand the importance of their lives that’s why they tend to suicide.  

 

Let’s work together in battling bullying! Contact us at BullyOut and learn how to prevent bullying!

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