Emily Osment is starring in a new ABC Family movie called "Cyberbully" and is busy spreading the word about this horrible, silent, abusive epidemic. In the film her character is the victim of online attacks by her fellow high school students. She falls into a deep depression and becomes suicidal when even her best friends won't come to her defense.
And while this might seem to some like the kind of exaggerated drama that made-for-TV movies rely on, the truth is that devastating circumstances like this are happening every day in schools and on social networks all across the country. In a recent exclusive interview Osment spoke about her own dealings with bullies and her advice for kids going through tough times right now.
Emily Osment Is Raising Awareness About Cyberbullying
She remarked, "I think it's a cause that doesn't get enough attention." Because Osment is the age of the kids being affected and has even seen the phenomena touch her own friends, she commented, "It's one of these things where I can use my power for good. I can raise awareness about this."
According to Osment the most important thing for kids to know about bullying is, "You need to learn that you're not alone." But she did admit, "Every bully is different and every person who's being bullied is different. And everyone handles it in a different way." So there is no one way to deal with the situation.
Emily Osment Was Not Bullied But Her Friends Have Been
She revealed, "I was lucky I never really was bullied in school. And if I was, and was around something that was negative, I'd use humor to get out of it. That was my escape. I think if you just teach kids that you need to have three things that they can do when they're being bullied '" whether it's talk back or whether it's walk away or whether it's don't say anything. You have to do something immediately and you have to know that you can find the courage to be strong.
Osment is also involved with the campaign being spearheaded by ABC Family and Seventeen magazine called "Delete Digital Drama." She joined a group of other ABC Family actors including Skyler Samuels, Shailene Woodley, Tyler Blackburn and Shay Mitchell to make public service announcements about the issue. She also uses site like Twitter and Facebook to share resources with her fans that are being bullied, like StompoutBullying.org. This is site where kids can go talk to others who are going through exactly what they are.
As for advice Osment had this to say to kids being bullied, "Delete negative comments. Block the user who's saying mean things to you. Take yourself off the Internet if you have to. And it's all about trying to stay positive."
Watch "Cyberbully" starring Emily Osment on ABD Family on Sunday, July 17 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. Central.
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