As technology changes, so does how we communicate, and that can mean new forms of bullying too.
But Sophie Thorne (17) from Swindon wants to put a stop to cyber-bullying with a unique Fixers film.
As part of her Fixers project, Sophie wants to show young people the effects of cyber-bullying. Using her own experiences, and those of others, she is creating a short-film – of which parts will be animated - to show just how emotionally damaging cyber-bullying can be.
“Cyber-bullying is quite a new form of bullying,” she says, “and often people do not think that what they say on the internet or in text messages is hurtful, because they cannot see the person react.
“But this kind of bullying is as bad as physical bullying, and can sometimes be worse because people just do not know when to stop, or the hurt they can cause.”
Sophie’s aim is to make parents and adults working with young people understand the serious damage cyber-bullying has on the victim, and for them to also understand how it does not just occur during school or college but that it can be a constant battle with abusive texts, social networking, or prank calls.
The film, which is currently in the production stages, will be screened to various groups of parents and professionals with the hope of highlighting how cyber-bullying should be dealt with.
“I want them to understand that any form of bullying should not be tolerated,” she says, “and that bullying can be secretive and malicious, not just physical and out in the open.”
For further information, help, and advice on cyber-bullying, click the following links:
Kidscape - Offers advice and support for bullied children and their parents
Stop Cyber-Bullying - Information for sufferers of cyber-bullying, and information for those who may be caring for people who are suffering from it
Childline - Free, confidential advice for cyber-bullying sufferers