Text bullying and harassment is when you get sent threatening, mean or offensive TXT or PXT messages from someone.
It can happen to anyone who uses a mobile phone and is common after a relationship break up and amongst school age children.
Many people who are text bullied do not feel comfortable talking with others about the harassment. However talking with someone can help.
How parents and caregivers can help
As a parent or caregiver it is important to support a young person to work with their school, their telephone provider or even the police if the situation is very serious.
Text bullies leave an electronic trail, so they can be caught, and, if their behaviour is criminal, they may even be prosecuted.
Because mobile phones are such an important part of a young person’s social life it is important to be as calm as possible if an incident comes up.
Many young people tell us they will not talk with a parent or any adult about text bullying because they fear their phone will be taken away from them.
Let young people know that you will support them to work on the problem and not isolate them from their friends and social networks by taking their phone away.
We have more information and practical advice on dealing with text bullying including when to contact the police and how to ask your phone company for assistance.
- If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety dial 111
- You can also speak with NetSafe staff during office hours on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
- Parents and caregivers can learn more about how young people use technology and ways to help them manage risks with our guide to cybersafety activities and challenges: In My Day