Cyber Bullying

Considering the ways in which bullying can affect us and how we can help reduce its influence.

What are the effects of Cyberbullying?

Some signs to look out for include:

  • Low self-esteem.
  • Withdrawal from family and spending a lot of time alone.
  • Reluctance to let parents or other family members anywhere near their mobiles, laptops etc.
  • Finding excuses to stay away from work or school.
  • Friends disappearing or being excluded from social events.
  • Losing weight or changing appearance to try and fit in.
  • Fresh marks on the skin that could indicate self-harm and dressing differently such as wearing long sleeved clothes in the summer to hide any marks.
  • A change in personality i.e. anger, depression, crying, withdrawn.

How you can support someone being bullied online

  • Reinforce that no one deserves to be treated in this way and that they have done nothing wrong.
  • Ensure that they know that there is help available to them.
  • Encourage them to talk to a colleague / teacher that they trust so they feel they have somewhere safe at work / school to go to.
  • Encourage them to talk to their friends / parents and if this isn’t possible, to write a letter or speak to another family member.
  • Give praise for being brave and talk things through which will hopefully empower them to take responsibility and get help.

Practical steps you can take

•            Block the bully from contacting you.

  • Change password and contact details.
  • Gather and document as much evidence as you can, eg. taking screen shots for proof it is happening
  • Seek help and support from relevant organisations, for example the Bullying UK helpline on 0808 800 2222.
  • If you are being bullied online (or offiine) by someone at work, report the problem to your HR department or line manager, or if at school or college report it to your teacher or tutor
  • If happening to a young person, ask the school if they have a School Liaison Police Officer that can help in this situation and talk to the school about the dangers and effects.
  • Report all abuse to the relevant social media networks by clicking on the “report abuse” button.
  • If concerned about cyberstalking, report it to the police. Seek help and support from relevant organisations, for example the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300, or email
  • If being ‘trolled’ and you believe it to be libellous or threatening, you can report it to the police.


Talk to someone if you are worried about your own wellbeing. If you are in distress or despair you can call Lifeline in NI on 0808 808 8000.

*Source: Ofcom (2017) Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report (PDF)

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