Children more likely to self-harm after experiencing cyberbullying

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Teenage victims of cyberbullying are more than twice as likely to commit suicide, according to a new study.

The research found that only 35% of UK students have never been a target of online harassment.

Statistics over the last five years found the situation in UK schools has worsened.

Zainab Ali, a 17-year-old girl from Birmingham, said: “I was called racial slurs and people made fun of my weight on Instagram.

“I don’t want to block them because it will get worse at school.

“I haven’t told my teachers because I am scared, I will be judged more.

“It is difficult for me to control comments posted online as people use fake accounts and there is no knowing who said what.”

Cyberbullies mostly use fake profiles on social media. (Credit: Pexels)

UK teens have reported anxiety, depression, self-harm and developed eating disorders as after-effects of cyberbullying in schools.

Zainab said: “Sometimes I would go days without eating just so I could look skinnier.

“I think cyber-bullying is a real issue that needs to be taken more seriously.”

A survey conducted by Ditch the Label, a global youth charity, found seven out of ten people believe social platforms do not do enough to fight the problem.

Norry Ascroft, a corporate trainer on human behaviour and potential, has put together a teacher training program.

His book, ‘The Truth About Bullying’, has been supplied to every primary and secondary school in the UK with 30,000 copies handed out.

Norry’s book is available to download for free from his website. (Credit: Norry Ascroft)

Norry said: “It’s out of my hands now, I have done my bit by supplying every school with free resources to help reduce bullying.

“It now relies on the head teachers to pass these resources on to the school and to benefit from them.”

The teacher training program was developed by Norry after learning the story of a 13-year-old who committed suicide due to cyberbullying in 2009.

Norry said: “I saw this story and it hit me in the heart.

“I thought about how that could have been my daughter.”

The resources provided to schools included training videos and the book itself.

The videos explained the psychology behind any form of bullying and how to respond to it.

Norry further states: “Bullying is a human behaviour weakness that effects mental health.

“It links to every other issue including racism, homophobia and knife crime.”

It is a requirement that every school must have an Anti-bullying policy under Section 89 of the Education and Inspection Act 2006.

Holly Lodge High School in Smethwick has a strict Anti-bullying policy.

The school’s statement on bullying said: “Holly Lodge School is a place where every person has the right to be themselves and to be included in a safe and happy environment.

“Everyone at our school is equal and should be treated with respect.”

Norry said: “The bullying policy is correct and logical, but it will not prevent bullying from occurring.

“Lessons need to be taught in school regularly to make students more aware, this will help reduce bullying.”

According to the Charity Stomp Out Bullying, a common reason that kids bully is a way to seek attention as they may be neglected at home.

“Children bully to become more significant and more important,” said Norry.

Norry’s book can be accessed for free by anyone through the Youth Potential website :https://youthpotential.mykajabi.com/.

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