By Demi Lovato
Seventeen contributing editor Demi Lovato speaks out against online bullying, and opens up about why this cause is so important and personal to her.
I wanted to share with you a topic that is incredibly close to my heart: fighting bullying. I was bullied when I was younger, it got so bad that I ended up leaving school because of it and the effects of that traumatizing time are still with me to this day.
Bullying can take many forms, and one of the most common ones today is cyberbullying. This is such a huge problem, and despite the fact that everyone is aware of it, things seems to be getting worse instead of better. One story that really sticks with me involves the tragic death of Phoebe Prince, which could so easily have been avoided.
When will people understand that verbal abuse is just as serious as physical abuse? How many precious lives will it take to put an end to the hurt caused by cyber abuse?
I think that some people use bullying as a way to fit in, and I’ve noticed it’s not just the “cool” kids doing it anymore. Sitting behind a computer gives people a sense of anonymity, but everyone needs to realize that words—even the ones they write online—have a strong power to hurt people.
It’s not okay to bully anyone—ever. I hope to encourage everyone to take a stand and put a stop to this horrible epidemic. If you are being bullied or if you know someone who is, please visit Teens Against Bullying for more info.
Together we can make a difference—together we can save lives.