Online platform allows Victims to share experience and heal

PRABAWATHI Ravindran, 19, has been involved in child advocacy since her early teens, when she joined Childline Malaysia’s Speak Up programme in 2012. She continues her advocacy work with DiGi’s online safety programme this year, and now, she contributes to U Report Malaysia for Bullying, an online platform developed to address the issue and give victims an avenue where they can be heard. Prabawathi is passionate about helping victims share their experience, as she had been a victim herself in primary and secondary school. “It can really hurt you mentally. I was always a quiet child and was bullied because of this. When I told my teachers that I was being bullied in primary school, they didn’t take it seriously and told me not to be so sensitive about being teased. In secondary school, my teachers told me that I was old enough to stand up for myself. Therefore, I understand how victims feel. “Via the online platform, we listen to the problems faced by victims. Some kids really need someone to talk to because there is no one to listen to them, and we advise them on how to put an end to the bullying by sharing our experience in dealing with bullies.” Iyad Zakiy, 17, who is also a child advocate involved in U Report Malaysia for Bullying, believes that everyone should play a part to end bullying, saying one way is to establish an online platform where emotional and mental bullying is treated with the same degree of concern as physical bullying. “Emotional and mental bullying is taken very lightly. What we do is come together to discuss bullying and how to tackle the problem, and collaborate with parties like DiGi and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund to resolve the issue. “Before we had the platform, there was no avenue for victims to speak about their experience. Normally, they don’t report bullying to counsellors as they don’t think they will be taken seriously.”