BeatBullying marked the launch of CyberMentors in March 2009 with a UK-wide print advertising campaign warning about the link between text bullying and teen suicide. Three images show young people affected by hanging, a slit wrist and drug overdose, in each case portrayed with denigrating words. The campaign aims to promote a new social networking site CyberMentors, as the next step to educate victims that there is help available and for the bullies to understand that they can change.
The concept began with a series of detailed focus groups with 11-18-year-old males and females from a representative cross-sample of backgrounds to ask what bullying really is like today both from the victim and bully’s perspective. The campaign, which features silhouetted imagery of a young person that appears to have committed suicide from the sustained barrage of bullying taunts in youth language, aims to educate victims that there is help available at www.cybermentors.org.uk, and bullies on what the impact of their actions could ultimately be.
Research done by BeatBullying in the UK showed that 56% of young people (in a sample of 2000 young people between the ages of 11 and 18) admit to having, at some point, been involved in bullying. The most common bullying methods were a hurtful message to a victim (26 per cent), spreading rumours (16 per cent), and editing a picture (15 per cent). Eight percent of this group had either filmed bullying or sent an offensive video clip about someone to their friends.”
CyberMentors, cybermentors.org.uk, is the first nationwide online peer-mentoring social networking site for young people, and is manned by over 700 fully trained CyberMentors and Beatbullying cyber councillors.