TV Star Charlotte Dawson attempts suicide after being cyberbullied, what about our kids? – Keeping Kids Safe Online

Former model and TV personality Charlotte Dawson attempted suicide this week, after she was the subject of a vicious Twitter campaign that urged her to end her life.

After being bombarded with the messages, Dawson,  who has battled depression, tweeted “you win” along with a picture of a hand holding a bottle of pills. “I’ve never had death threats of this ferocity. I’ve never had a campaign of this ferocity,” Dawson said.  “They got the better of me and they won.”

The cyber row began when Dawson defended one of her Twitter followers who had been the subject of similar abuse from another Twitter user.  She received tweets that said “do the world a favor and go hang yourself”, “I speak for everyone in the universe: bitch you need to kill yourself” and “go kill yourself you f—in whore” along with a photo of a mutilated child.

Dawson said as a celebrity she expected to cop a certain amount of abuse.  “You do have to have a thick skin and you do understand that no matter what you do, even if you’re Mother Teresa, people are still going to hate you just because they think you’re ugly or they don’t like the sound of your voice,” she said.

My question to parents:  If adults who seem to have it all, can’t handle cyber bullying, what impact does it have on children?  Unfortunately many children experience this same issue, in the dark.  They don’t have the fame, they don’t get the headlines.

Some indicators that your child may be the victim of cyber bullying:

  • After being online your child seems upset or withdrawn.
  • He or she suddenly avoids formerly enjoyable social events.
  • Your child asks to have a social media account shut down.
  • Your child becomes increasingly concerned with their physical attributes.
  • You notice new or unknown phone numbers or texts on your child’s phone.
  • You witness a drastic change in your child’s behavior.

The most important thing we can do as parents is to communicate with our children about cyber bullying.  It’s crucial that your child knows that you will listen and support them, they must be assured that in you they have a “safe place.”  Even if you feel that your child will never be the victim of cyber bullying, the conversation is free and may prove to be just what your child needed to hear.

Keeping our kids safe Online – No Excuses!




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