Steps to Take if You Become a Cyberbullying Victim

Despite your best efforts, you may still become a victim of cyberbullying. Here are steps you can take if it happens to you or someone you know.

  • If the bullying is small-scale, start by ignoring it. Dr Sameer Hinduja and Dr. Justin W. Patchin of the Cyberbullying Research Center advise victims to ignore “minor teasing or name calling” when possible. After all, bullies often want to get a rise out of you. In addition, don’t forward the message.
  • Block the bully. Do everything you can to cut off contact. De-friend him or her on Facebook and screen his or her calls.
  • Make websites’ policies your allies. You know those terms of use and website policy statements that you never read? They can help protect you from cyberbullies. Report the perpetrators to website administrators. Sites like Facebook and Youtube have policies against cyberbullying and “safety centers” to deal with reports of malicious activity. Your internet and cell phone service providers may also have tools to track down and block bullies.
  • Document the bullying. Make sure to keep copies of harassing interactions to use as evidence and keep records of the date and time.
  • Call for back-up. School administrators and counselors, parents, and even law enforcement officers can all provide resources and support to victims and possibly take action against bullies. Many states now have laws anti-bullying laws, many of which cover cyberbullying. Check to see the laws in your state. 

--Liz Soltan