Last Friday, a 12-year-old girl was assaulted by five other girls, aged 11 to 13, in Helmond.
According to the police, a TikTok hate account led to the incident. The victim told the police that she had posted a video about her groups of friends to the social media app a few weeks ago. Viewers had given her lots of likes and positive reactions.
However, last week she came across a hate account. It had been created about her because of the video. The girl soon found out who was behind it.
Met by 5 girls
She says she then asked the person if they could discuss the issue. They had both agreed to bring a friend to the meeting. But once there, the girl was met by five girls.
They were aged between 11 and 13. Almost immediately, two of them started pushing and punching the girl. The three others encouraged the fighting girls and recorded the abuse.
A passerby managed to break up the fight. The victim suffered a concussion, multiple bruises, and a head contusion. “She’s still very anxious,” says a police spokesperson. “And has nightmares and flashbacks of the assault.”
All five girls who took part in the assault and filming were arrested and questioned. The police released them into their parents’ care. Their punishment is to be determined at a later stage.
“Bullying on social media is increasingly becoming the starting point for these kinds of disputes and assaults. People film these fights and repeatedly share the footage on social media. What if it were you?”
“Or one of your siblings? Or someone you know? Don’t participate in this, and don’t share the images on social media or app groups. That affects the victims hugely,” the police spokesperson concludes.
According to Pointer, online schooling has increased the incidents of cyberbullying. Pointer is a Dutch broadcasting company, KRO-NCRV’s, online platform for investigative journalism. They got this information from Kindertelefoon.
According to Kindertelefoon‘s Paulien Morsch, they get up to five calls a day about cyberbullying. The leading cause is online schooling. Children’s social lives are increasingly happening online.
“It’s a worrisome, but, sadly, unsurprising development.” Kindertelefoon is a volunteer-run organisation. Its goal is to advise and support children and teenagers. Youngsters get to chat with volunteers, some of them also teenagers, about anything.
Main source: OmroepBrabant
Translator: Melinda Walraven