In this blog, I am going to be talking about one of the biggest issues that happen to teenagers and young adults every year in the UK, which is all about the issue of Cyberbullying. Within the UK, The Issue of Cyberbullying reaches and affects many young people between the ages of 11-25 and even beyond, because of many different reasons, but the effects that the issue of cyberbullying has on people’s emotional and physical health can get massively interrupted and affected to the extent that many young people can be afraid for their lives and even never recover from the traumatic events that happen within the type of cyberbullying that they become victim off.
According to an international charity called ‘Ditch the label’ they have found that ‘ 7 in 10 young people experience cyberbullying before the age of 18’ (Ditch the Label, 2020).
Since being in foster care and even now that I am living independently as a former care leaver, the extent of being targeted for cyberbullying is massive especially among my peers as I am always making sure and being on edge that someone could not be whom they say they are online, so I always have to double-check which is annoying for me because it makes me struggle to trust people.
I can remember when I was back in secondary education, I was a victim of cyberbullying, from a group of people in my form tutor group, which ended up getting extremely dangerous, as the bullying ended up turning into intimidation and violence, to the point that I was afraid to go home from school, on my own in case of getting hurt or even worse. it is shown that people that have been experiencing cyberbullying can develop extremely high anxiety (‘37% of bullying victims develop social anxiety” (Anon., 2022), and even develop other mental health issues due to fear and worry and even trauma that happens when being a victim of cyberbullying.
As someone who has developed severe mental health issues such as suffering from anxiety and depression, this happened over time, but the start of my issues started back at school when the bullying that I was a victim too started as being in person and in class, to being in the playground during break and lunch times to finally being done online and making me afraid to even go home alone and being on edge all the time because of the threats and torments that the cyberbullies were giving me and making me feel that I was in danger.
So, I would like to use this blog as a chance to give people some advice on what to do if you feel or are a victim of cyberbullying…. Never for a minute feel that you are alone, there is always someone out there that will listen to you and keep you safe no matter what. My advice is that, if you feel that you are at risk, always talk to either your foster carer, social worker or personal advisor as they will always be able to support you to tell someone if needed, but also help you seek support from specialists if you have or are being affected mentally and physically.
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger