Canadians pride themselves on being a tolerant, polite and respectful people. Yet each day in our schoolyards, online, and over cellphones, our children are waging war on each other. More than a third of teens are victims of conventional forms of bullying and half of all Canadian children say they’ve been bullied online. Unsuspecting parents provide their children with cellphones in an effort to remain in constant communication, but as a result they are also providing a platform for anonymous bullying.
Digital bullies often set up bogus email accounts and create separate online identities before targeting their victims. They have a multitude of ways to mask their true identities and revel in that fact. Because electronic messages are between the bully and his or her victim, they are outside the reach of authority figures.
Regardless of the type, bullying takes an emotional toll on its victims. Depression, anxiety, loneliness and changes in sleep and eating patterns are common side effects. Some children retaliate with aggressive or extreme violent outbursts. In some cases, victims will end their lives. Harmless discusses all aspects of bullying – from victim to bully and all the witnesses in between.
Share your support or bullying stories because bullying is #notharmless.