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Disclaimer: Any opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Glyph.

Bullying has been going on for the longest time, I believe a lot of you have witnessed bullying, but have you ever reported the incident? Unreported cases and lack of support for bullying victims tend to result in an escalation of the cases. If left unresolved, bullying often manifests in negative ways and sticks with victims for a long time.

We, as bystanders, need to stand up for the victims, but how many of you have taken the step to stand up for the victims of bullies? I’m sure a lot of us are guilty of ignoring the problem, thinking it’s not a big deal. However, by not reacting, we are inadvertently complying and condoning the actions of the bully. Thus, bullies continue with their actions and more people get hurt.

Bullying can cause problems that will follow you up until adulthood. It causes detrimental effects on students, leading to disastrous and violent consequences to both the bullies and the victims. Victims might develop mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and may even have suicidal thoughts. Lives can be lost, permanent damage can be inflicted, bullying should be handled with the urgency of a National Health Emergency.

Many argue that cyberbullying is the mildest form of bullying. However, they fail to realise cyberbullying doesn’t just stay on the web and it doesn't disappear once they turn off their devices. The comments linger and can affect the victim in the real world. The screens provide perpetrators false sense of security. Hence, bullying is a lot more prevalent online. These trolls often band together and hide behind fake usernames. The most common form of bullying is cyberbullying, where teens call each other derogatory terms. Many fall guilty of doing this, often writing it off as a silly joke and not that serious. However, these names can erode the victim’s self-image and cause more damage than you know. For those who muster the courage and approach someone, they often hear the phrase, ‘’just ignore it, and you’ll be okay’’. This often leaves the sufferer feeling misunderstood and upset.

"It should be handled with the urgency of a National Health Emergency."

Younger victims should find someone to confide in and inform a trusted adult, as they are in their formative years and a comment can impair their self-esteem heavily. Greater awareness of this issue can help victims feel assured and supported. Informing a trusted adult can help to alleviate the burden and help provide them the necessary support. Internet users should actively report pages and comments which violate community guidelines. Safeguarding the internet and eradicating bullying is a collective effort, we need to all be mindful of our comments to keep it a safe space. Cyberbullying and bullying, in general, is a serious offense and should not be taken lightly. As internet users, we should understand the consequences of our actions and clamp down on such behaviours. As the number of internet users grows, the onus is on us, to safeguard the internet and ensure that it remains a safe platform for all. I urge all of you, to speak up for these injustices and stand up for any victims online.

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