Voices Of Youth

Cyber bullying victims need support

Many people assume that once cyber bullying has stopped, the incident has come to a close (Help victims, witnesses stop cyber bullying, by Miss Grace Wong Ray Shian; July 24).

They neglect the fact that the victims are emotionally traumatised from the distressing experience.

Without proper support from peers, parents and the school, victims can lapse into self-hate or a sense of inferiority, which may ultimately lead to more serious mental issues, such as depression.

It is crucial to help the victim to let go of negative emotions and get on with his life.

Parents and friends can spend more time with him and provide words of comfort.

They can also affirm his abilities and help him to understand that the hateful comments do not define who he is as a person. They can affirm his strong will in staying resilient.

School counsellors can observe the victim's behaviour after the incident and provide support. This can serve as early identification and prevention of serious mental conditions developing.

Victims often feel isolated or hopeless. If they receive more care and concern from people around them, their healing journey will be less arduous and they will become stronger.

Wong Jia Yi, 16

Secondary 4 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2017, with the headline 'Cyber bullying victims need support'. Print Edition | Subscribe