PETALING JAYA: Every time 16-year-old Amy (not her real name) goes online, she sees a message from her cyberbully.
The emotional abuse came to a point where she contemplated suicide.
“She fat-shamed me and accused me of things I didn’t do. She spread lies about me on Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp,” Amy said.
“I found out that she created multiple accounts on Instagram and has a specific one just to humiliate people,” she said.
The bully, who was a fellow classmate, also physically and cyber-bullied other children.
“Her bullying resulted in some of my friends getting hurt. She beat one up in school really badly. Some of my friends who were cyber-bullied had negative thoughts,” she said.
“I also thought about harming myself and even suicide. I feel hurt till today,” said Amy.
According to Loheswary Arumugam, consultant clinical psychologist from KPJ Sentosa Medical Centre, cyberbullying and physical bullying have the same impact on victims.
“It’s just that social media is more easily available for the bullies,” said Loheswary.
“Victims lose self-confidence and self-control, and those who do not receive help may adopt negative coping methods such as using alcohol, drugs, violence and self-harm.
“Bullies themselves are also insecure because they may have been bullied before, so they exert power upon the more vulnerable to gain back control,” Loheswary said.
Amy attended the Digi CyberSAFE Digital Citizen Camp last year where she learned about cyberbullying and cybergrooming, and how to deal with these situations.
She shared her experience to spread awareness about cyberbullying in conjunction with Stop Cyberbullying Day today.
“Now, I’ve learnt to be more positive and to be strong on the inside and out.
“We also should not hurt others just to satisfy our needs,” added Amy.