Archives for September 2020

September 25, 2020 - Comments Off on What Is Emotional Regulation And Why Is It So Important?

What Is Emotional Regulation And Why Is It So Important?

By Kashfa Zafar

Have you ever felt hangry? If you’re human, chances are that you’ve been so hungry at some point that you were extremely irritated by everything and everyone around, but you were probably too agitated to realize that your bad mood was the result of a fairly common human experience – hunger. Emotionally heightened experiences can be really overwhelming resulting in cognitive overload; Your mind might respond by ‘shutting down,’ suspending your abilities of rational judgment. That is why for someone observing your behavior, you might seem like a less-than-stable individual. Of course, you know that you’re not some irrational person but in the case of experiencing ‘hanger,’ even you might be surprised by the things you say or do without realizing the reasons behind your seemingly ecstatic behavior. If only you knew that you were simply hungry, and the solution to your troubles was just a refrigerator door away. Wouldn’t that make your life easier?

Well, the good news is that there’s definitely a way. It’s called emotional regulation. Emotional regulation is the ability to exercise control over your emotional state so you’re in a better position to respond appropriately to the demands of a given situation. Emotional regulation skills obviously extend far beyond the scope of simply experiencing hanger. These skills are positively correlated to your social and emotional intelligence and can provide effective management skills for those experiencing depression and anxiety. 

The key in developing emotional regulation skills is to cultivate and practice mindful awareness. When you find yourself in an emotionally provocative situation, remove yourself physically from that negative space and redirect your attention towards what you’re feeling physically. Notice how your body feels. Does your chest feel tighter? Is your heart racing? Are you experiencing a headache? Whatever the case maybe, you can applaud yourself for practicing what is known as cognitive reappraisal. Instead of focusing too much on your negative thoughts and feelings, you have now managed to divert your mind towards how these negative effects present themselves physically in your body. When you do this, you are regaining control over your judgment and actions and not letting your emotions drive your thoughts and behavior. Cognitive reappraisal is a simple yet highly effective tool used in many different types of psychotherapies. It the ability to reframe your cognitions or alter your way of thinking. So, in the case above, you have reframed your experience of the situation because instead of focusing on your negative feelings and thoughts that might have negatively affected your perception of the given circumstances, you’ve concentrated your attention to somewhat neutral bodily sensations. 

Now that you’ve rerouted your thoughts from the situation onto yourself, the next step is to explore your feelings. Simply acknowledging that you’re feeling ‘bad’ or ‘mad’ is only a start. Dig a little deeper and notice what kind of negative emotions you’re feeling. If possible, write them down. Ask yourself what emotion might be masking itself in the form of anger. Sadness? Guilt? Shame? Hopelessness? For this, you have to be honest with yourself. Execute the same mindfulness that you practiced when noticing how your body felt. Without judging what comes up for you, identify both the surface-level as well as hidden emotions. By practicing this exercise over time, you’ll not only be able to develop and refine your emotional awareness, but you’ll also be able to tell what kind of emotional experience you’re having by simply noticing how your body feels. Each emotion has a physiological reaction in the body, and because you would have monitored the physical manifestation of the identified emotion, you’ll know how to regulate your behavior without being emotionally flooded. 

Once you’ve become regular in the practice of emotional regulation, you’ll feel you have greater self-control even in the face of the most pressing and pressurizing situations. Instead of letting your emotions control you, you’ll be able to take charge of your life, be it personal, social or professional.

September 17, 2020 - Comments Off on August 2020: DRF launches the Digital Detox Campaign

August 2020: DRF launches the Digital Detox Campaign

Online Campaigns and Initiatives

#HamaraInternet #MehfoozInternet

Under the Cyber Harassment Helpline advocacy campaigns, a comic strip with impactful graphics was released online which focused on victim blaming of cyber harassment. The comic strip highlighted how victim blaming decreases the likelihood that survivors will share their traumatic experience and seek support. It called on the audiences to take action against this attitude and shift the blame from the victim to the perpetrator.

In order to combat cyber bullying, which ruins people’s online experiences, we need to understand why people do this so that we are able to design our strategies accordingly. DRF released an infographic to shed light on some of these reasons.

DRF also launched another campaign called 'A to Z of Cyber Harassment', in which we unpack everything that makes up cyber harassment and what we need to know to protect ourselves online.

DRF’s Digital Detox Campaign

As part of DRF’s ongoing advocacy around raising awareness on cyber harassment, it shared and encouraged its audience online to participate in Bingos on various digital rights issues. One of the bingos, ‘how many of these steps do you take for your digital detox?’ had the highest number of interactions and retweets. It was also well-received on Instagram with many followers self-reflecting and pledging to do a better digital detox for their well-being. Another bingo focused on what entails cyber bullying behavior as a first step to understand what people need to do to make online spaces safe for all.

       

#ActivismInPandemic

     

DRF has launched the #ActivismInPandemic campaign highlighting the important work human rights defenders and journalists have been doing during COVID19. The campaign aims to share experiences of journalists and HRDs during the pandemic and also highlight the importance of managing work and stress during these testing times.

Policy initiatives

Cyber Harassment Helpline July Statistics

Cyber Harassment Helpline received 697 complaints in the month of July. In comparison to the previous months prior lockdown , this is a huge number. It shows a spike in the cases of online violence especially blackmailing through non consensual use of information and images. Another observed trend is of social engineering through which people are coerced into sharing their personal details like National Identity Card number, WhatsApp code, bank account details and, e-wallet details making them susceptible to hacking and financial fraud.

   

Media Coverage

Pakistani journalists stand up against online harassment

Ramsha Jahangir, our member of the Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights highlighted how online spaces have been weaponized recently. In DRF’s study ‘Fostering Open Spaces in Pakistan’ it was found that women in journalism and activism were subjected to online harassment and abuse.

Read the full article here around harassment that women journalists have been facing:
https://ipi.media/pakistani-journalists-stand-up-against-online-harassment/

Pakistan tells Youtube to block ‘objectionable’ content’

DRF’s Nighat Dad shared her thoughts around Pakistan’s statement to Youtube regarding objectionable content on the platforms.

Read the full article here:
https://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-tells-youtube-block-objectionable-102002066.html

DRF on Coffee Table with Mina Malik Hussain on domestic violence

29 August 2020: A discussion on domestic violence

DRF’s Dania Mukhtar participated on Indus News on the show Coffee Table with Mina Malik Hussain with Kanwal Ahmed (Founder of Soul Sisters) around domestic violence. Dania highlighted the cases the cyber harassment helpline has received around domestic violence and also mentioned Ab Aur Nahin as a resource to victims of domestic violence.

Link to show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofKQe-cOe0g&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0fJAYu4G3YSGr9eBTZja5QhBfodwg-l8XLq0LfGF4F6bnm6CS4KsSk42g

Events and Sessions

DRF on International Youth Day on webinar on Breaking Barriers for Meaningful Youth Engagement

DRF’s Nighat Dad shared her thoughts on International Youth Day on ‘Breaking Barriers for Meaningful Youth Engagement’. Nighat highlighted on the digital dividend to engage youth across the country and globally. She also highlighted the struggle it takes for women to reclaim spaces.

DRF on NHRF’s discussion on protection of HRDs and their work

DRF participated in a discussion hosted by the Norwegian Human Rights Fund (NHRF) around protection of HRDs and their work. Nighat Dad participated in the discussion and shed light on the online safety trainings the organization has conducted due to NHRF’s help and support.

DRF at Right To Information: Need, Use and Status on 14th August

DRF participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Senior Journalists Forum on ‘Right to Information: Need, Use and Status’. The webinar took place on 14th August and highlighted the importance of right to information and its current use and status within the country.

DRF at “Digital Pakistan – The Future of Politics: Lessons and Opportunities” on 21st August

DRF participated in the webinar ‘Digital Pakistan- The Future of Politics: Lessons and Opportunities’ on 21st August. The session was organized by the Senior Journalists Forum and focused on the use of digital technologies for politics and mobilization.

DRF hosted a tweetchat on ‘How Activism has changed post COVID19’

DRF organized a tweetchat on 26th August 2020, around how activism has changed post COVID19. The participants in the tweetchat were Nighat Dad (lawyer, human rights activist and Facebook oversight board member), Imaan Mazari (lawyer and human rights activist), Moneeza Ahmed (feminist, humanistic therapist and an activist focusing on community development) and Sabin Muzaffar (founder and executive director of Ananke- a digital platform empowering women through awareness, advocacy and education). The tweetchat was an extension of DRF’s online campaign on #ActivismInPandemic and highlighted the key issues activists have been facing during COVID19 and what social media companies can do in order to protect them.

DRF at ‘Implementing SDG 16.10.1 (Protection of Women Journalist and Media Workers) for ensuring gender response media environment in Pakistan on 28th August

DRF participated in the Sustainable Development Goal 16.10.1 which focused on  protection of women journalists and media workers on the 28th of August. DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke about the threats female journalists are facing in the cyber world and also highlighted the importance of a gender responsive media environment in the session.

DRF in Provincial Consultation on Gender Bases Violence- Strengthening the Response

DRF participated in an ‘Provincial Consultation on Gender Based Violence – Strengthening the Response’ under the Awaz II program organized by Peace & Justice Network (PJN) held on 26 August 2020. The purpose of the consultation was to identify specific advocacy points to prevent and address gender-based violence in Punjab. In addition to assessing the legislative and institutional frameworks, the consultation also examined how prevalent social norms can be changed by both improving women’s access to legal processes regarding the registration and prosecution of crimes as well as addressing public shame. The deliberations of the consultation would be used to inform the advocacy agenda for the Aawaz Provincial Forum.

Digital Safety Conference by LACAS and DRF

August 7  - August 8

DRF and LACAS, in collaboration, hosted the "Digital Safety Conference"  to create a better understanding of how the digital world works and its impact on students. Moreover, bring students, teachers and parents on the same page of how to deal with the pressing issues related to the digital world. The event was held virtually and included representatives from a social media company, legal specialists, mental health counselors and student speakers. The two panels in the conference included “Cyberbullying, its Impact and being a Responsible Netizens” and “Parenting in the age of the internet”.

Facebook Live Session: Will banning the internet fix the mental health pandemic?

Our mental health expert, Saba Sabir, conducted an informative live session on the link between online spaces and mental health. We explored the possibility that while online spaces can result in tangible mental health harms, it is also a space for connection and expression particularly at a time where we are socially distancing. The session can be accessed here.

DRF conducted a session with Dastak on Online Safety

DRF conducted a semi-advanced online safety session with the team members of Dastak Charitable Organization on the 7th of August, 2020.

The session covered apps and tools that can be used to increase safety in the digital space.

DRF organized a session with AWAM on Online Safety

DRF organized a second session with the Faislabad-based organization AWAM as a part of its interaction with civil society organizations on the 25th of August, 2020.

The session covered apps and tools that can be used to increase safety in the digital space.

DRF’s session with WISE on Cyber Harassment and Online Safety

DRF collaborated with WISE on the 7th of August and hosted a session around the internet and online safety. The session was attended by female students, teachers and community activists. The session focused on cyber harassment and introduced the cyber harassment helpline as a resource to the participants along with other intitiaves like Ab aur nahin (providing legal pro bono service to domestic abuse and harassment victims)  and IWF portal (to report child sexual abuse online).

Privacy Laws in Pakistan

Zainab Durrani from DRF participated in a session of PCL Talks hosted by Pakistan College of Law and LEAP Pakistan that covered privacy laws in Pakistan. The discussion centered around privacy as a concept in general, as a right and now a digital necessity. Zainab discussed the cultural connotations of privacy and DRF’s position on the current Personal Data Protection Bill.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=691556761717106&ref=watch_permalink

Gender sensitization session with journalists

DRF conducted a two-day online workshop on 9th-10th August 2020 on gender-sensitive reporting for women journalists and content creators. The workshop was attended by 14 participants. It also had a dedicated session on covering covid-19 from a gender-sensitive perspective. The training included a practical component after completion that required all participants to submit a short story covered from a gender-sensitive perspective.

Data Privacy in Asia

Our Project Manager Zainab Durrani participated in a tweet chat organized by Undatify Me that looked into the current privacy laws and regulations in Asia. The chat covered any issues with these laws, campaigns and movements that converged on the overall theme of privacy and the existing resources for people who want to learn more about these themes and the need for more such resources and reliable literature to be developed around it.

DRF with the support of FNF hosted two sessions of the Hamara Internet Online Safety Program

DRF hosted two sessions with the support of FNF with young adults in the Hamara Internet Online Safety Program. The sessions were conducted by DRF’s five youth ambassadors who focused on privacy and data protection of young adults in the country. The youth ambassadors were divided into teams and Team A conducted the session on 21st August with their group whereas Team B conducted their session on 22nd August with their respective group.

Sessions with Anew and FNF

Our partner FNF provided our team members with the wonderful opportunity to attend a 4-part training course with the team at Anew where they learnt about and discussed meaningful and impactful engagement, especially given the myriad of restrictions with conducting sessions and interacting with stakeholders and audience. These sessions took place in the last two weeks of August and were just the need of the hour for our trainers.

COVID19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

Because of the observed increase in cyber harassment complaints during COVID 19 lockdown,  DRF made its cyber harassment helpline operational 24/7 for three months. The cyber harassment helpline is offering the services free of cost for anyone who calls in or reaches out to us via social media or email. These include legal aid, the digital help desk, and mental health counseling. During these three months, our toll-free number is  accessible every day of the week, from 9 AM to 5 PM, our mental health counselors are working from 10 AM to 9 PM each day as well. Our mental health counselors are trained professionals providing free of cost counseling to women and marginalized communities. During all other hours of the day, our team is attending to complaints and queries through online platforms.

Contact the helpline on 080039393 or email us on helpdesk@digitalrightsfoundation.pk. You can also reach out to us on our social media channels.

Ab Aur Nahin

In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all-time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse.

www.abaurnahin.pk

IWF Portal

DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse amterial in three different languaged- English, Urdu and Pashto. The reports will then be assessed by trained IWF analysts in the UK.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

September 14, 2020 - Comments Off on Women Journalists and Allies Express Outrage at the Murder of Shaheena Shaheen and Demand Concrete Measures of Ensure Safety of Journalists

Women Journalists and Allies Express Outrage at the Murder of Shaheena Shaheen and Demand Concrete Measures of Ensure Safety of Journalists

The news of Shaheena Shaheen’s brutal murder has greatly disturbed the community of media practitioners across the country and lays bare the structural insecurity women face in this country. Shaheena was an accomplished journalist based in Balochistan and was shot dead inside her home on September 5, 2020 in Turbat.[1] Shaheena was a host on PTV and the editor of a local magazine. She was outspoken for issues facing women, in her profession and community. Her murder is a grim reminder that women journalists face innumerable barriers and threats on the basis of their gender.

Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist in, ranking 145 out of 180 countries in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders.[2] The challenges that women journalists face cannot be neatly captured by the discourse of journalist security and media freedoms. Women journalists are subjected to a ‘double threat’ that is both professional and personal in nature. The overall lack of media freedoms and violence against journalists impacts women journalists, however because of their gender, women journalists face a personal threat to their bodies and well-being as well. Shaheena’s murder, reportedly by her husband, is being characterised as a ‘domestic matter’. We strongly believe that the personal is political, and for women journalists the challenges they face in their personal lives--the double shift due to inequitable distribution of care and domestic work, violence within the home, harassment in work and public places, online vitriol directed at them--impacts their work and can often put their lives in danger. Women journalists do not shed their gender when entering professional engagements, rather their gender often predominantly defines their professional life.

We also remember the brutal murder of Urooj Iqbal in November 2019 who was also shot by her husband outside her workplace for allegedly not agreeing to leave her job.[3] Despite the fact that the murder was condemned by journalists across the world,[4] her family eventually settled the matter outside of court and did not pursue a case against her husband.[5] This case shows that when the perpetrator of violence is a family member, the likelihood of settling the matter outside of court, often due to the pressure exerted on the family, is high. Since the passage of the Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences in the name or pretext of Honour) Act, 2016, cases of honour killings can be pursued by the state under section 299 of the Pakistan Penal Code regardless of whether the family forgives the perpetrator or not, but the implementation of the law is inconsistent. The

cold-blooded murders of Urooj and Shaheena are crimes against society as a whole, they should be pursued by the state, particularly in a country where crimes against women are vastly underreported. Pakistan is ranked 151 out of 153 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index Report 2020.[1]

On September 8th, the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, has noted that the Pakistani Government take “immediate, concrete steps to ensure the protection of journalists and human rights defenders who have been subjected to threats, [...] the need for prompt, effective, thorough and impartial investigations with a view to ensuring accountability in cases of violence and killings.”[2]

These crimes take place in the backdrop of daily challenges that women journalists face. Recently, 150 women journalists issued a letter calling out the online harassment that they are subjected to and the ways in which political parties weaponise digital spaces and gender attacks to silence critical women journalists.[3] The concerns that women journalists face should be taken seriously and acted upon, by the media outlets as well as by the government.  State inaction sends a message to women in the journalist community that they are on their own and in the long term discourages young women from joining the profession.

We, the undersigned, demand that:

  1. While we are encouraged that the Ministry of Human Rights has taken notice of Shaheena’s case, we demand that there should be adequate follow-up by the state to ensure that the accused is prosecuted and a possible settlement does not impact the prosecution;
  2. The state prosecution challenges the pardon by the family in Urooj Iqbal’s case in the respective court and pursues the case with the state as a party; and
  3. The government takes immediate and urgent steps to pass the Journalist Protection Bill, with added provisions which recognise the gendered threats that women journalists face and institute accountability mechanisms to mitigate and address them.

SIGNED BY:

  1. Xari Jalil, Dawn
  2. Umaima Ahmed - The News on Sunday, Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights,
  3. Ghareeda Farooqi - News One
  4. Afia Salam - Freelancer
  5. Reema Omer - Lawyer
  6. Maryam Saeed - e Feminist Magazine 50-50
  7. Reem Khurshid - Dawn
  8. Amina Usman - Urdupoint
  9. Fahmidah Yousfi  - Rava.pk
  10. Rabia Noor - ARY News
  11. Najia Ashar - GNMI
  12. Nighat Dad - Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights
  13. Shmyla Khan - Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights
  14. Sahar Habib Ghazi, Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors
  15. Ailia Zehra - Naya Daur
  16. Alia Chughtai -
  17. Rabbia Arshad , freelance documentary and filmmaker
  18. Lubna Jerar Naqvi Journalist
  19. Sabah Malik, Arab News
  20. Nida Mujahid Hussain, Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights,
  21. Sabahat Khan - Freelancer - DW
  22. Maleeha Mengal - Social Media Strategist (Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre)
  23. Moniba iftikhar  - Associated Press of Pakistan
  24. Naheed Akhtar - APP
  25. Tooba Masood - Freelance journalist
  26. Laiba Zainab - Sujag
  27. Sadaf Khan, Media Matters for Democracy
  28. Kiran Nazish, journalist and founder CFWIJ
  29. Katarzyna Mierzejewska, The Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ)
  30. Rabia Bugti - Dialogue Pakistan
  31. Jalila haider -  Independent Urdu
  32. Tanzila Mazhar - GTV
  33. Tehreem Azeem - Freelance journalist
  34. Marian Sharaf Joseph - Freelance Journalist
  35. Luavut Zahid - Freelance journalist
  36. Mahim Maher - SAMAA TV
  37. Maham Javaid
  38. Neelum Nawab - DIN News
  39. Zeenat Bibi - Freelance Journalist from KP
  40. Ambreen Khan - content editor Khabarwalay news
  41. Annam Lodhi, Freelancer
  42. Maryam Nawaz- Geo news
  43. Ayesha Saghir - Producer Express News
  44. Asma Sherazi - TV show Aaj News
  45. Afifa Nasar Ullah - Reporter, City News
  46. Haya Fatima Iqbal - Documentary Filmmaker
  47. Wajiha Naz Soharwardi - CPNE
  48. Sahar Saeed - Neo TV Network
  49. Kiran Rubab khan -  Reporter, 7 news
  50. Imrana Komal - Senior Multimedia Journalist, Free lines
  51. Manal Khan - Independent Writer
  52. Zoya Anwer - Independent Multimedia Journalist
  53. Shaista Hakim - Reporter khyber News Swat
  54. Hina durrani, APP
  55. Sabrina Toppa, Freelance
  56. Shafaq Saba - Freelance Journalist from KP
  57. Mehak Mudasir -  Freelance Journalist from KP
  58. Zivile Diminskyte - Engagement coordinator at CFWIJ

Supporting Bodies:

  1. Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights (NWJDR)
  2. Women In Media Alliance Pakistan (WIMA)
  3. The Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ)
[1] Mohammad Zafar, ‘Journalist Shaheena Shaheen shot dead in Turbat’, The Express Tribune, September 5, 2020, https://tribune.com.pk/story/2262666/journalist-shaheena-shaheen-shot-dead-in-turbat.

[1] https://rsf.org/en/pakistan.

[1] ‘Woman journalist shot dead’, Dawn, November 26, 2019, https://www.dawn.com/news/1518815.

[1] ‘Pakistan: Woman journalist killed for not quitting job’, November 26, 2019, The Coalition for Women in Journalism, https://womeninjournalism.org/cfwij-press-statements/pakistan-woman-journalist-killed-for-not-quitting-job-px7w7.

[1] ‘عروج اقبال کا قتل: ’اپنے کام کی وجہ سے پاکستان میں قتل ہونے والی پہلی خاتون صحافی' کا مقدمہ اختتام پذیر’, BBC Urdu, August 12, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan-53747402.

[1] “Mind the 100 Year Gap’, 2019, World Economic Forum, https://www.weforum.org/reports/gender-gap-2020-report-100-years-pay-equality.

[1] “Press priefing notes on Pakistan”, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 8 September 2020, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26216&LangID=E.

[1] https://qalamcamera.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TOGETHER-AGAINST-DIGITAL-ABUSE-pdf.pdf.

September 2, 2020 - Comments Off on Cyber Bullying And Its Effects On Teenagers/Adolescents

Cyber Bullying And Its Effects On Teenagers/Adolescents

By Sara Israa 

Cyberbullying or cyber harassment are no new terms. They are now commonly experienced by people who are active on social media and who use online spaces. Cyberbullying could be defined in many ways but basically it is when someone intentionally sends hurtful messages and pictures, spreads false information, threatens or blackmails you, hacks your social media, or impersonates you. It is something which is persistent, which is probably meant to intimidate the victim. The perpetrator might be known or unknown.

With the influx of technology, social media, and unlimited access to internet services, cyber bullying is on the rise. It won’t be wrong to say that online spaces are now becoming unsafe day by day, since we are not aware of the predators behind the screens. The peak of cyber bullying is now actually taking a toll on mental health. Teenagers are the most common victim of this since they belong to a vulnerable part of society and they also excessively use online spaces. It is disturbing because of its public and uncontrollable nature.

The teenagers who are cyber bullied experience a range of emotions such as increased anxiety, low and sad mood, school absenteeism, decreased self-esteem, difficulty focusing, and in extreme situations even suicide. Cyber bullying and adolescent mental health hold a strong relation together. There has been vast research that validates that harassment on the internet introduces feelings of guilt, worry, and depression. This at times aggravated since many teenagers have a hard time communicating. This results in self-blame which might be a reason for them choosing suicide. 

Cyber victimization at times also leads to teenagers isolating themselves and spending their time worrying over the consequences of being shamed online. Similarly, children who experience cyber harassment may experience anger outbursts and may have relationship problems later in life. Cyber victims are more likely to experience somatic problems, including difficulty sleeping, headaches, and stomachaches, as compared to their unaffected peers. Many children in order to overcome or get away with post shame of cyber harassment may also indulge in substance abuse. 

 Unfortunately, most teenagers are unaware of digital safety hence they fall prey to cyber bullies. Also, a vast majority of research shows that in the past decade cyber harassment has become so prevalent that it is not considered a public health concern. 

With cyber harassment showing a strong correlation with adverse effects of mental health it is high time now that we make the youth more aware of cyber safety. We at the individual and collective levels should try to make online safety more accessible. There is a dire need for mental health counselors to address the concerns of cyber victims and provide them with platforms where they can vent out and word out their perspectives and thoughts without being judged. 

There are some ways which adults or parents can use to save their children from being cyber bullied. Firstly, be empathetic and listen to your child so that he/she can confide in you without fear. As a parent or adult, you can make sure that your child’s profile is private and not public, limit the number of friends your child adds on social media and allow only those to be added which he/she knows in real life, ensure about passwords safekeeping and ensure that your child knows how to report, block or delete someone who is harassing them. Get them engaged in offline activities. Remember, the less time they spend on their devices, the less likely it is that they will be cyberbullied.

References

Nixon, C. L. (2014). Current perspectives: the impact of cyberbullying on adolescent  health. Adolescent health, medicine and therapeutics5, 143.

Vaillancourt, T., Faris, R., & Mishna, F. (2017). Cyberbullying in children and  youth: Implications for health and clinical practice. The Canadian journal of  psychiatry62(6), 368-373.

https://parents.au.reachout.com/common-concerns/everyday-issues/cyberbullying- and-teenagers

Munawar, R., Inam-Ul-Haq, M. A., Ali, S., & Maqsood, H. (2014). Incidence, nature  and impacts of cyber bullying on the social life of university students. World  Applied Sciences Journal30(7), 827-830.