Bullying has been a harsh part of growing up for some children for a very long time.
But its twenty-first-century incarnation known as cyberbullying, or online bullying, is increasingly common especially among teenagers.
Online bullying is particularly heinous because it can be done behind the anonymity of an electronic screen. The prevalence of smartphones, mobile apps and photo capability has made cyberbullying accessible and more easily spread.
What Is Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is when a person bullies or harasses another via electronic means such as social media, texting or online gaming.
Bullying behavior includes but is not limited to hate speech, rumors, exposing a victim’s personal information, sexual remarks and threats.
Behavior is considered bullying or harassment if there is an intent to harm and if it is repeated.
Teens and young people aren’t the only victims of cyberbullying. Adults can be targeted too in this form and in others. Another form of cyberbullying is internet trolling where victims in a community such as a chat room or blog are subject to inflammatory messages that are designed to provoke emotional responses.
Cyberstalking is a damaging use of the internet to stalk or harass an individual. Cyberstalking activities include slander, libel, defamation and false accusations as well as threats, vandalism, monitoring and gathering information to harm the victim.
Cyberbullying: Victim Impact
Cyberbullying may be more harmful than other forms of bullying because it is difficult, if not impossible, to escape it. Victims exhibit low self-esteem, fright, frustration, anger and depression. Another damaging effect is that the victim tends to avoid activities and friends, which is exactly what the bully wants.
Many victims are prey to cyberbullying so harmful that they consider suicide, and some actually carry it out. A recent example was a 12-year old girl from Rockaway who took her own life last year after 3 or 4 students relentlessly bullied her via texts, Snapchat and Instagram. School officials reportedly did not take appropriate action even after the mother pleaded with the administration as well as the parents of the perpetrators to stop.
Bullying, including cyberbullying, is illegal in New Jersey. Read our blog to learn about school requirements as part of the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act.
Let Us Know If You Have Been a Victim of Sexual Abuse
If you or a family member has experienced bullying, sexual assault, sexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Essex County, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.