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Christian charity offers advice as online bullying soars

by Aaron James

Youthscape has been reacting to a new report by the NSPCC said online bullying had nearly doubled over the past five years.

It went up by 88 per cent, with more than 4,500 children calling NSPCC's Childline in 2015/16 compared to more than 2400 in 2011/12.

The NSPCC found politics was the most likely topic to prompt bullying with sport in second.

Racist language was the most common form of hatred, according to the NSPCC.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour Helen Cutteridge, emotional wellbeing worker at Youthscape, said: "I think the worrying thing for me about those statistics is you're talking about young people as young as seven online using social media.

"Most social media sites you're not supposed to join until you're 13; the problem is young people often lie about their age.

"I would definitely be calling on parents to question their children about why they're feeling the need to be on social media and protecting them as they are.

"There's a part of me that thinks we should young challenging people about their behaviour online and about saying: 'to keep yourself safe, maybe you should stay away from that for a while'."

Helen recommends parents take precautions if they feel their child is vulnerable to online bullying. These could checking the child's web history if necessary, using internet service providers who can block certain websites or apps, and only allowing kids to use social media in main rooms of the house.

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speaking to Helen Cutteridge on the News Hour:

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