Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 17°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Suffolk: Parents warned of the dangers children face online as expert warns youngsters are being bullied in their bedrooms

17:30 21 February 2013

Do you know what your chidlren are doing online?

Do you know what your chidlren are doing online?

AS a new report published this week reveals one in five youngsters in Suffolk have fallen victim to Cyberbullies, reporter LIZZIE PARRY spoke to expert Dr Emma Bond, a senior lecturer at UCS, about the hidden dangers children face online.

IT is no great revelation that we live in a virtual world.

We spend our lives online, hooked up to social networking sites, just a text, call, e-mail, tweet or direct message away from reality.

But the same is true for our children.

And a shocking rise in the number of young people plugged into the virtual world at all times of day and night has led experts at UCS in Ipswich to warn of a dark and nasty side to the world wide web.

Bullying is a known and recognised problem in society, particularly among children.

But a new report, the Suffolk Cybersurvey, published on Tuesday – Safe Internet Day – has revealed bullies are invading our children’s bedrooms.

Not through an open window or by invitation but via a nasty, vindictive virtual world which is exposing youngsters to a torrent of hurtful abuse in their most private of sanctuaries.

The report, commissioned by e-safer Suffolk and funded by Suffolk Children’s Trust, revealed around one in five youngsters had fallen victim to bullies online, and of those only 52% had sought help to stop it.

Expert and joint author of the research, Dr Emma Bond, a senior lecturer in applied sciences at UCS, said cyberbullying is defined as “campaigns of harrassment conducted via communications technology such as the internet and mobile phones”.

Dr Bond warned parents it is vital they are aware of cyberbullying and the serious consequences for young people.

“Cyberbullying can lead to poor self-esteem, children feeling frightened, truancy and in extreme cases it has been cited as a significant factor in recent, national cases of teenage suicide,” she said.

“That is why it is so important for Suffolk to take it seriously.

“It can be very persistent with text messages, e-mails and social networking sites all giving bullies an avenue to bombard their victim.

“Some children feel there is no escape. Their world’s are very virtual, and everybody can see nasty comments made about them.

“It is a very public type of bullying.”

The survey of 2,838 10 to 18 year olds revealed access to internet enabled smartphones and tablets has nearly doubled since 2012.

It has prompted Dr Bond to call for greater awareness campaigns, starting in primary schools, to help educate children – equipping them with the life tools to cope with the issue.

“Our message to parents is make sure you are aware of cyberbullying, how serious it can be so that if your child comes to you and says it is happening to them you understand what it entails and what you can do and how to report it,” she added.

“It is so important parents don’t just discount it.

“Children may post something thinking it is a bit of a joke or a bit of revenge without really thinking through the consequences of their actions.

“You wouldn’t shout at someone in the street so why think it is ok to say something online?”

Whereas in the past computers were a staple in any family room, children are now accessing free to log on via their phones or tablets at anytime and in any place.

It is giving bullies a new way of inflicting their vicious attacks – by invading their victims’ bedrooms.

In Suffolk the number of 10 to 18 year olds using smartphones and tablets jumped from 41% last year to 71% this year.

“If a child was bullied online in the past, it was more likely that a parent would be able to see, because the computer was more likely to be in a communal place,” Dr Bond added.

“But children are being bullied in their bedrooms now. And with things like Blackberry messenger it is much easier for children to say something really nasty and send it to everyone in their phone book with one click of a button.”

She said she would like to see more education in schools and from other organisations.

“It is not just the responsibility of schools. We have been working with e-Safer Suffolk to look at how we can get young people to behave more responsibly online.

“These issues aren’t going to go away.”

1 comment

  • I wanted to say that being a mum to a teen daughter, I always keep an eye to her blackberry and her fb page and i have noticed that there is this game some kids love playing at the moment, which is called "hot or not video". What they do is videoing themselves alone or with a friend reading a list of their supposed friends stating if they are hot, pretty, average or not. As a mother I find this game completely unacceptable and a sort of bullying. I've asked my daughter to never do this video and she completely understands the consequences of this game, which can hurt someone's feelings and their self-esteem. I just wish more parents were keeping an eye on what their children were up to.

    Report this comment

    Anaick Sharpe

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

Police at the Ipswich v Norwich derby.

Suffolk Constabulary has yet to confirm it will have a presence at Ipswich Town games this season - including the potentially powderkeg Old Farm Derby.

Woman repays £7,600 in overpayment claim

A Kesgrave woman has been fined after making a false statement to obtain £7,600 worth of benefits which she was not entitled to.

File picture of a car fire.

Firefighters were called to reports of three cars alight at a garage in Ipswich.

A motorist involved in a crash on the A14 in which a teenager died will live with the “huge remorse” for the rest of his life, a court has heard.

Relax and unwind

When the weather is as glorious as this, you want to do nothing more than sit back and relax.

A police officer stands outside the Olympia mall in Munich, southern Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016 after shots were fired. (AP Photo/Sebastian Widmann)

The gunman who shot dead nine people and injured 16 others at a Munich shopping centre was an 18-year-old German-Iranian man, police believe.

Network Rail is replacing overhead line equipment between Shenfield and Liverpool Street.

Delays caused by extreme heat like those that affected rail services in the region could be less common in future according to Network Rail.

St Helena Hospice assistant nurse Emma Young reduced staff and patients to tears in Colchester after performing Adele's Make You Feel My Love. Pic: St Helena Hospice.

A video of an assistant nurse performing an Adele song at a Colchester hospice has gone viral.

Andy Beckwith

A former Essex man who went missing in Gibraltar has been found “in good health”, police have said.

An aerial shot of Bramford.

More than 250 homes lost power this evening due to emergency repair work by UK Power Networks.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24