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Cyber bullying

Ella, a Year 8 girl was refusing to come to school, her attendance was suffering and her mum had caught her making herself sick.

Ella and her group of friends had been victims of a cyber bullying campaign, devised by two of their most trusted friends. For months, they manipulated the lives and emotions of these girls through virtual male characters they had created.
 
The girls got to know the 'boys' through the internet, and it emerged that they were suffering various levels of suffering and trauma in their lives. A baby sister and a parent had died, one boy ran away from home and another was run over. When Ella decided to end things with "Leon" he threatened to kill himself.
 
Ella said "life was hell for a while. I thought: what's the point."

The girls were experiencing feelings of loss, anger, and hurt. Place2Be worked with the victims, helping them come to terms with what happened in a safe space, supporting each other as a group. The two perpetrators joined the final session at the girl's request. It was important to hear them admit that the boys weren't real.

Following a period of exclusion, the two perpetrators were offered counselling sessions themselves.  

 

"Understanding why children and young people find it difficult to seek help when they are attacked, either face to face or via social media is key to ensuring we have the right support in place.

Understanding the stressors that children are experiencing today, particularly those related to the internet, is a national challenge and key to the mental health of our children and young people and their future wellbeing as adults." 

Dr Fiona Pienaar

A Place2Be partnership in your school