Being cyber bullied is a frightening experience. You never know when the bully is going to stroke next. You understandably want this bullying to end as soon as possible. However, don’t be in such a rush to report a cyber bully that you go about the wrong way. Take the time to report a bully the right way for the best chances of getting the bully out of your life.
According to CyberAngels, the cyber division of the Guardian Angels, the main steps to take in reporting cyber bullying are:
- Tell the bully to stop
- Do not respond to bully ever again
- Make copies of all communications from the bully
- Contact authorities.
Report a Bully: Tell The Bully to Stop
Write a clear warning to the bully to not communicate with you again. This does not stop a cyber bully, but it does help you in the eyes of authorities. You have made your intentions clear. If the bully still persists in pestering you, then the fault clearly rests with the bully. Be sure you make copies of these requests for any authorities to see.
Your warning does not have to be elaborate. Avoid using all capital letters, profanity or threats of physical violence. Just write “Please do not contact me ever again. Please do not email me, text me, phone me or contact me inn any other way. ” That’s all you need to write. Written requests like this appear logical and cool-headed to authorities. It also looks like you are not willing to fight or be antagonistic.
Report Cyberbullying: Do Not Respond to the Bully
This is the most difficult step to take, but it’s absolutely essential. Although schoolyard bullies will sometimes leave their victims alone if the victims can fight back, this tactic always backfires for cyber bullies of all ages. They crave fear or other negative reactions from their victims. Deny them your response and they may get bored and pick on someone else.
You also want to block the bully from your email, cell phone, Facebook account or wherever you can. This lessens the chances of getting a communication from the bully and makes it harder for the bully to contact you. Write down the date of when you put these blocks in place. If you still get bullied despite these blocks, then your bully is not going to go away until you report him or her to proper authorities.
Report a Bully: Make Copies of All Communications From the Bullies
You cannot make a case that you are being bullied unless you have evidence. Making copies of any communications from your bully is vital evidence. Do not delete it or ignore it in the hopes that the problem will go away on its own. It usually doesn’t. Copying these communications also gives you something productive to do rather than responding to the bully.
Make copies of all emails, text messages, tweets, social media comments, IMs, blog comments, chats or forum posts from the cyber bully. Get screen shots of communications if you do not have a printer. Keep all of these communications in a separate computer file. Copy them out to make printed pages that you may need to show authorities. It’s also good to have hard copies in case your computer crashes or the computer files are accidentally deleted.
Report Cyberbullying: Contact Authorities
Now you have to figure out what authorities you need to contact in order to stand up to your bully. Where is the bully harassing you?
- If it is one specific website like a chat room, contact the chat room’s moderator or owner. Keep all communications from the moderator or owner in case you have to go to the police.
- If the bully is someone from school or college, contact the principle or dean
- If the bully is phoning you, contact your phone company
- If the bully is contacting you by email, you have to contact the email’s ISP (Internet Service Provider). If you have trouble discovering the bully’s ISP provider, contact your own email service. They should be able to help you.
- If the bully is harassing you on Facebook, you can contact Facebook with your problem. Facebook has a no-tolerance policy of bullying.
Report a Bully: Should I Contact the Police?
If a bully has threatened you, your family or your pets with physical harm, contact the police immediately. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you are a minor, tell your parents so that they can file a police report. Show the police or your parents copies of communications from your bully.
If your cyber bully is threatening you with rape or sending sexually suggestive messages, copy these and see your parents or the police immediately. Even if the police cannot arrest your bully, a visit will give the bully a good scare. Getting a complaint recorded with the police also shows that the bully has frightened you enough to go through the trouble of contacting the police. This will help your case in the future, should the bully start to hassle you again.
On How to Report Cyberbullying
It’s tempting to get some sort of revenge on your cyber bully. Do not give in to the temptation. If you do, you can be reported for being a cyber bully. Instead, tell the bully never to contact you again. Block all possible communications with the bully. Copy all communications from the bully. Show these to the appropriate authorities. If the bully has threatened you, your family members, your friends or your pets with physical harm, contact the police immediately.