Online bullying is a growing problem. A recent nationwide survey found that 18% of young people have experienced cyberbullying, and over half received hurtful comments online.

Here are some of the ways young people have encountered – and dealt with – cyberbullying.

Please remember Stop Speak Support, if you do see people being treated unkindly online.

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Kiri’s Story

At school, I began to be bullied. I had recently gotten braces, I had very long, wavy, thick, brown hair, I wore glasses and I was quite chubby. I was a very easy target and not being mentally well in the first place, anything that was said to me was taken personally and to heart. I was frequently called names, in school and outside of school – Facebook and Blackberry messenger were where I would find I was subject to a lot of name calling.

Many of the girls surrounding me would gossip about lies that included me, so when they would reach the teachers, they would action the lies. An example being, another classmate of mine told a lot of girls that I had nits in my hair; this was told to a parent who worked at the school. I was very poorly one day and had been taken to the schools medical room, here a teacher thought it would be best to ‘check’ my hair; this was all down to a bully who had told a lie.

The bullying was an everyday thing and although I did pluck up the courage to talk to some of the teachers at school, there was no support and I felt as though nothing I was reporting was taken seriously; I forever felt let down.

In school, my appearance and easy going attitude made me subject to bullying; I was not allowed to be different. My hair was not accepted, my braces were not accepted, and nothing about me was accepted. It was a very scary place, unfortunately, I still suffer with feeling alone and trapped; I constantly worry about my appearance too and I always wonder whether anyone is speaking about me. I feel as though not being listened too really affected me, it’s very dangerous when a bully feels as though they have a lot of power, especially as with my experience adults empowered the younger people, in a negative way.