Dealing with Peers

While you have taken steps to remove the content, you may also be dealing with cyberbullying, harassment, alienation, among other things because your peers have seen or know about your sexual picture/video. We have some ideas to help you deal with your peers.

Regaining Control

Here are some helpful steps in regaining control over the situation:

  • Do not respond

    • If you get texts, emails or if other messages are posted about you, do not respond. It’s normal for you to want to defend yourself but this may only fuel the bullying behaviour.
    • Not responding is especially critical if you are being threatened or blackmailed – if there are threats or blackmail involved you should report the situation to a safe adult as soon as possible.
    • Walk away if the bully approaches you and do not retaliate.
  • Delete the bully on social networks

    • This will reduce your exposure to hurtful comments and reduce any distress you may feel when looking at the bully’s comments.
    • Ask your close friends to do this as well if they are connected to the bully through social networking.
  • Block the bully from contacting you

    • Adjust your settings on social networks to block the bully. If this option is not available, you may need to send a formal complaint/report to the provider (e.g. Instagram, Facebook).
    • If the bullying is happening through texts, see if your phone provider can provide steps for how to block calls/texts originating from the bully’s number.
  • Review and adjust your privacy settings

    • Some sites allow users to set limits on who can search for them, who can send friend requests, etc. Learn about the privacy settings on your social networking accounts to control who can contact you.
  • Change your accounts

    • You may want to delete your accounts and contact names temporarily. This might give you an important emotional break from seeing the cruel commentary.
    • You may choose to create brand new accounts that only close and trusted friends and family know about.
  • Save the messages

    • Before you discontinue contact with the bully, you should make a copy of the messages in case your school and/or police need to get involved.
    • Do not go back and read what you have saved. This will help reduce any distress you may feel when looking at the bully’s comments.
  • Tell someone

    • Speak to a safe adult such as a parent, teacher or school counsellor for advice. Adults can offer insight that you or your friends may not have considered and have more authority to address concerns.
    • If you are not able to identify a safe adult to talk to, contact Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) to speak with a counsellor for help on what to do next.
    • If you are unable or unwilling to seek support from family, another safe adult or a counsellor, talk to a close friend.