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Last Updated: Monday, 20 November 2006, 21:46 GMT
Cyber-bullying 'on the increase'
Text message on mobile phone
About a quarter of calls to Childline are about bullying
Charity workers in the East Midlands say they are now getting hundreds of calls about so-called cyber-bullying.

Childline staff in Nottingham said new technology had dramatically increased their workload.

The charity receives about 4,500 calls a day nationally and about a quarter of these come from victims of bullying.

Technology is also being used to tackle the problem. Leicestershire youngsters put their own experiences on a website, to show others they are not alone.

Bullying is one problem dealt with by The Jitty, which was set up by Leicestershire Youth Service to deal with issues affecting young people.

Bullies 'traced'

James Hunter, of Leicestershire Youth Service, said: "Bullying's always going to be pervasive but it's going to be less and less a problem.

"People who think there's anonymity on the internet are sadly mistaken. You are uniquely identifiable and you can be traced."

One 14-year-old girl from Leicestershire said she was cyber-bullied for two years via regular texts and e-mails which sometimes came every few minutes leaving her seriously traumatised.

"They made me feel guilty, but I couldn't talk to anyone," she said.

"Basically they were saying stuff about killing me, killing my boyfriend, telling me to watch my step. Then they rang my dad up, and told him that I was pregnant, which shook my family up for a bit."

The government said it was taking the problem very seriously.

Schools Minister Jim Knight MP said: "Cyber-bullies can get to you in your own home, through your e-mail, through text messaging, through the use of video from video phones. And that means that children don't feel safe anywhere."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The trauma of cyber-bullying



SEE ALSO
Boost for bullying mentor scheme
20 Nov 06 |  Education
Boy arrested over 'web bullying'
18 Nov 06 |  Nottinghamshire
Tackling a culture of bullying
16 Nov 06 |  Education
Government acts on cyber-bullies
25 Jul 06 |  Education

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