There have been many articles, TV shows, even commercials speaking about the dangers of bullying, yet, it continues to happen and even with schools taking a zero percent tolerance stand on this issue, children and teens all over the globe are threatened with this very vicious, senseless behavior.

Years ago, bullying was most commonly seen at school. Some bigger kids wanted to assert themselves as “in charge” or “in control.” They often threatened, pushed or frightened the smaller, more intimidated kids and so earned themselves the reputation of being feared. This worked wonders for the bully because he or she was exempt from the bullying behavior of others.

No matter what went on at school, in the park or even on the way home, one could always look to the sanctuary of their own home and find peace and happiness once again. One could regroup and even try to work out a plan of how to deal with this behavior tomorrow.

With the introduction of computers, “smartphones,” and the appearance of sites like MySpace and Facebook, this area of retreat, of rest, of solitude has been invaded, and our children and teens lost the space where they could simply rest before having to face the onslaught of the next day. Weekends could often be a safe haven where one could find “joy.” Today, they can be bullied in their own homes, even in the privacy of their own rooms. Cyberbullying brings the bully into the teen’s own home and takes away the possibility of any rest and recourse. It is dangerous because it attacks everywhere and every minute.

We must all adopt a zero percent tolerance of this horrific behavior. We should realize that we don’t have to put up with this behavior. There are computer crimes divisions of local and state police that can help you to find the culprit and put an end to it. These perpetrators can and should be taken out of our schools and prosecuted to the letter of the law, and, if need be, laws need to be created to limit one’s ability to destroy another’s life. 

In the meantime, there is help. Please tell your teen to visit www.teencentral.net to learn more about this behavior and what they can do about it. It is a place where they can learn, play games and even write their own experience or story, receiving help within 24-hours. Best of all, the site is anonymous and free so no one needs to know who you are. Parents can learn how to help their child by logging on to www.parentcentral.net and finding answers to some common questions and ideas on how to help their teen cope and even recognize the bully in their own home and how you can turn this behavior around.

It’s available, it’s anonymous and it’s free. Just go on, log on and begin to work it out.