CYBERBULLYING, We’ve witnessed immense social media outrage over the screenshots of the chats of a group of teenage boys from Delhi. These chats have revealed the deep-rooted sexism, objectification of females, and sexualizing feminine body parts. The chats have revealed derogatory comments on images or morphed pictures of minor girls and even plan to gang-rape them. It’s evident that we as a society have normalized toxic masculinity, body-shaming, and sexism, and the rape culture.
The #boislockerroom chat incident also brings out the issue of cyberbullying in India.
An intentional and aggressive act to harass someone on social media or through Emails and SMS can be considered to be Cyberbullying. It’s a criminal offense by the Indian Constitution and punishable by law.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
Here are a few immediate steps that can be taken by victims of cyberbullying.
Report and block the group/ account immediately- the cyber-bully must be reported and blocked immediately on social media platforms. Victims can also ask their friends to report the account as well.
Launch an official complaint on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal- Cybercrimes can be reported online and anonymously (if wanted). A separate column for reporting bullying of women and children is present.
Contact the helpline number of the National Cyber Crime department- In case one is unsure about the official procedure, the helpline number is active from 9 am to 6 pm. Victims also have the option to tweet issues.
Inform the closest sphere- the closest sphere refers to friends and family. Though a victim might be afraid of being victim-blamed, yet it’s important to keep near and dear ones informed and on the loop. It’s important for both their safety and mental health.
Save the evidence of the incident- Saving screenshots or screen-records of the time, date and the description comes handy while reporting the bully.
Seek professional help to get over the trauma- Professional counseling is extremely helpful for a victim to stay steady in his/ her fight and not face psychological distress.
Don’t shut your emotions- Victims of cyber-bullying, by speaking up, can be an inspiration to hundreds. Cyber-
bullying is a criminal and punishable offense and no one has got the right to victim- shame someone. Muster the courage to speak up!
Change Passwords- to be on the safer side, it’s suggested to change social media passwords after such incidents.
Remember, you aren’t alone in this fight. Stay strong!