Cyber-bullying knows no boundaries and anyone can be affected. Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, former footballer Stan Collymore , and now Kevin Healey, a 39 year old Autistic man were all subjected to abusive and offensive messages and behavior on Twitter. Kevin Healey talked to Sky News to address incidents on Twitter and discussed his global campaign to change laws in theUK and the USA to stop this growing problem.
With nearly 120,000 Twitter followers, the 39-year-old fromNewcastlebelieves he was subjected to such abuse because of his autism. At the mercy of individuals copying his Twitter account, Kevin was impersonated him, and inappropriate tweets were sent out in his name.
“I socialize online and speak to my friends because I can’t really go out. My whole social life is online. So it really affects me when people troll me and say really vile things,” says Kevin.
“People who are bullied online sometimes don’t know how to cope and think about taking their lives. The difference with an autistic person is they’d take things much more literally, so if they wanted to commit suicide then they’d just do it.
“People know that they can go online and troll people and say what they want because they will get away with it.
“If someone was found to be acting in a way that could cause physical or mental harm to another person through cyber-bullying, trolling, stalking or harassment, they could be charged and prosecuted. The law as it stands doesn’t protect people from bullies.”
Kevin’s global campaign aims to stop victims suffering cyber-bullying and change the laws in both theUnited Kingdom and United States.
For more information about Autism Awareness, please visit http://www.icare4autism.org/news/category/autism-awareness/