Monday, 5 July 2010

P.A.C.O.F (Parents Against Cyberbulling On Facebook)

As you would have seen from my previous blogs my family suffered at the hands of a Cyberbully. Ive started a group now on Facebook as well called P.A.C.O.F. Ive done this because after some research I have been shocked and dismayed at how serious this problem has become, and the lack of action and also how this isn't being taken seriously enough.

I was a victim of bullying when I was at school. The usual name calling and physical abuse. The difference then was that when I went home I got a break from it. I could lock myself away indoors and emerge myself in books, or music. Now kids don't get that break. They are victims in their own homes through the Internet and also mobile phones. Would you know if your child was a victim of this?. I didn't until someone told my daughter she was on Facebook. Please remember this, your child could be at risk, you may not have kids, you may be planning to have kids in the future, or they may be of a young age, but that doesnt mean any of these situations wont affect you or someone now or in the furture. I didnt think it would ever happen to me but it did.

These are some facts about cyberbuling you may not be aware of:

Nearly 35% of kids have been threatened online and almost one in five have had it happen more than once.
Among this percentage, being ignored and disrespected were the most common forms of cyber bullying.

Nine out of ten secondary school students have had their feelings hurt online.

About 75% have visited a Web site bashing another student.

Four out of ten secondary school students have had their password(s) stolen and changed by a bully who then locked them out of their own account or sent communications posing as them.

About 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mails.

The psychological and emotional outcomes of cyber-bullying are similar to real-life bullying outcomes, except for the reality that with cyber bullying there is often no escape. School ends at 3 p.m., while the Internet is available all the time.

The primary cyber-bullying location where victimizing occurs, at 56%, is in chat rooms.

Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber-bullying.

About 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than four out of ten say it has happened more than once.

Cyber-bullying has increased in recent years. In a national survey of 10-17 year olds, twice as many children indicated they had been victims and perpetrators of online harassment in 2005 compared with 2000.

Stop Cyber-bullying
Know to Love
National Crime Prevention Council

That last part of the survey is now 5 years out of date, so how bad is it now? Frightening isn't it. I'm not into scaring people, if I'm honest if it hadn't happened to Laura I wouldn't be doing this, but it did and I am. If I make 1 parent aware of this issue so as they can stop it Ive done my job. As I've said before I'm not a celebrity or a campaigner I'm  a concerned parent. I'm giving up my free time for this, willingly I will add. I'm not after fame or fortune from this either. It needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped now. I will keep staying up late and writing blogs, I will keep writing on Facebook, I will keep inviting people to join and I will keep doing this until we have enough people to make a difference.

i-SAFE in America conducted a survey in 2008 that said 58% of all children cyberbullied never told a parent or teacher. This cant be right can it. We as parents have a responsibility to keep our children safe. We have to encourage them to talk to us. We also have to act on it the right way.

All I ask is that you join the group and add it to your Facebook wall. Then invite all your friends to join. I'm after 10 minutes of your time nothing more. Please do this one thing even if you don't do another thing. 10 minutes is not too much to ask is it?

If you wish to join this group you can friend request me at Anthony Hodgson on Facebook. My picture is the one with me and my 4 kids. Ill accept you and then invite you too join. Thanks Anthony Hodgson

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