My experiences of bullying
I have been bullied both in public and online on social media.
Once someone on a Facebook group called me the R-word for posting something about Dr Who. I left the group and reported the person to Facebook but I didn’t get a reply. Now I don’t involve myself with nasty people like that in a group or on my profile.
Once, another person on Facebook started posting things about me, saying that I should calm down and stop liking my own posts or posting so much. So, I joined another group and still did the same number of posts, and nobody seemed to mind.
Nowadays, if someone makes a negative comment on one of my posts or about me, I consider if they are being rude, and I either say something polite or if I feel they are being inappropriate I report them to an administrator or leave the group. I can also block people who I don’t like, especially if they are being rude to me.
I have been bullied twice on public transport in London. I asked some teenage girls to stop throwing cans into the road and not be rude to an elderly man. They then turned on me saying I was “a mentalist”. They tried to touch my hair and said things like “go home”, as if I was a silly child. I tried to ignore them as I thought they would get bored and stop, but they seemed to enjoy being nasty.
From these experiences and through my work at Mencap, I have been able to get involved in several projects and opportunities to help people, especially vulnerable people and people with a learning disability, protect themselves from bullying.
In 2015 to 2016 I was involved in the SafeSuring project which was associated with Inclusion Europe. The project aimed to teach people with a learning disability to use the internet safely. As part of this I traveled to Poland and Spain to meet people from other organisations who also work with people with a learning disability to help them to stay safe online.
As well as this, earlier this year I gave evidence to the Petitions Committee in the House of Commons about my experiences of being bullied and harassed online. The petition was started by Katie Price in the hope that the Government will introduce laws so that those who abuse vulnerable people online can be prosecuted.
My advice for anyone who may be being bullied, or who suspects that someone they know might be being bullied is talk to someone about it. You can report inappropriate, hurtful or abusive behavior on all social media platforms, or speak to a carer, family member or friend.
Organisations like Transport for London offer online reporting for crimes or incidents on their network, so you can let them know about your experiences quickly and easily.