One of the newer ways kids are bullying each other is through electronics and technology. This is referred to as cyberbullying, and it is becoming a huge problem in today's society. Because this is a newer type of problem, there are very few laws in place that hold bullies accountable for their actions. If you suspect that your child might be being cyberbullied, here are several things you should know.
What exactly is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is any type of bullying that occurs through electronics, such as phones, computers, and tablets. It may involve direct communication from a bully to a victim or public communication. For example, a person may bully another through texts, private messages, or emails, and these are all considered forms of direct bullying. Public bullying can involve posting messages that anyone can see, and this could be through social media sites or chat rooms. In any case, cyberbullying is hurtful and can have devastating effects on the victim.
What challenges are involved with cyberbullying?
When a person is bullied at school or on the bus, it is easy to know who the bully is; however, this is not the case with cyberbullying. One of the biggest challenges with cyberbullying is finding out who the bully actually is. With the ability to set up fake accounts and log in from almost any device, bullies are capable of hiding their identities relatively easily. If you cannot find out who the bully is, it can be hard to put a stop to it.
The other key challenge is that cyberbullying opens up the opportunity for a person to bully someone else 24 hours a day. This means that your child may not be safe from bullying no matter where he or she is or what time of day it is.
What can you do about it?
If your child admits that he or she is being cyberbullied, you may want to take immediate action to make this stop. Kids who are bullied tend to perform worse in school and have higher risks of turning to drugs or alcohol. You might be able to put a stop to this by talking to your child's school or the parents of the bully. If this does not help, you could talk to a family lawyer.
While there are few laws on cyberbullying, many states are beginning to develop new laws relating to this subject. In fact, there are 14 states that currently view cyberbullying as a criminal offense.
To protect your child, you should seek legal help if this issue seems to be bothering your child in any way. To learn more, contact a family lawyer in your area today.