By Corinne Hall
ONLINE bullying is, unfortunately, a common part of today’s society according to a leading safety organisation.
It is unusual to find someone in today’s society who does not use social media but this has allowed ‘trolls’ who use the platforms to express unkind opinions and prejudices.
According to Cyber bullying statistics from the i-SAFE Foundation, more than one in three young people have experienced threats online.
However the most worrying part is that well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber-bullying happens although politicians have encouraged more victims of online bullying to come forward and not to “suffer in silence”.
The University of the West of Scotland and its student body (SAUWS) would like their students to know they are not alone and there is support for them if they are suffering from online bullying.
SAUWS case worker, Barbara Robertson, said: “We issue all new students with booklets on online bullying.
“We are there for students to advise them in the best way as to how to deal with online bullying.”
The Student Association ensure from the beginning of a student’s life at university, they know they are not alone by handing out flyers and booklets at Freshers to encourage students to seek help if they should need.
Not only do these booklets provide information on online bullying but also provide students with advice to party safely and was to recognise online scams.
The Police Scotland booklet states: “Social networking is a great way to keep in contact, especially if you’re away from home.
“However, think carefully about what you say and the trouble you could find yourself in if you make offensive or intimidating comments.
“Online abuse such as ‘cyber bullying’, may be treated as a criminal matter.”
Nobody should ever feel that they have nobody to open up to and that they have to keep things bottled up. Cyber bullying is a serious issue for today’s society and can have a very negative effect on people and UWS is urging students to be in contact if needed.
If you are experiencing cyber bullying or you need someone to speak to about any issues you may have, please contact: Heather Ward: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 0141 849 4151 or Hilary Groom on 0141 849 4218 or Cat MacNab on 0141 848 3807