Demi Lovato and Seventeen Team Up to fight Cyber Bullying

Internet safety tips from the Ascentive team

Along with stars from ABC Family, Demi Lovato, has team up to put an end to bullies on and off the internet. Lovato is one of many stars who have faced cyber-bullies online and hopes to put a stop to it.

As a contributing editor for Seventeen Lovato has opened up about her struggle with being a victim of bullying in the past. “I was bullied when I was younger, it got so bad that I ended up leaving school because of it and the effects of that traumatizing time are still with me to this day,” she revealed in her recent article.

Stars such as Shailene Woodley (Amy Juergens from The Secret Life of the American Teenager) andTyler Blackburn(Caleb Rivers from Pretty Little Liars) have also joined their fellow ABC Family costars to promote the fight against bullying.

“All it takes is to speak up, to say something. All it takes is to find that strength within yourself, to be the one to say something, to tell someone about it, to tell a teacher, tell a parent, to tell another peer—somebody—what’s going on,” said Shailene Woodley.

Tyler said, “I think that the social media aspect of bullying is different because it spreads like wildfire immediately. So in that way, I think it’s almost more intense. But it’s just as hurtful as bullying someone face-to-face,” said Tyler Blackburn.

“I think that some people use bullying as a way to fit in, and I’ve noticed it’s not just the “cool” kids doing it anymore. Sitting behind a computer gives people a sense of anonymity, but everyone needs to realize that words—even the ones they write online—have a strong power to hurt people” said Demi Lovato.

ABC Family also recently premiered the two-hour ABC Family original movie, “Cyberbully,” starring Emily Osment (“Hannah Montana”), Kelly Rowan (“The OC”) and Kay Panabaker (“No Ordinary Family”), presented as part of the Delete Digital Drama Initiative. The initiative, will launch this summer both on the network and in the magazine’s August 2011 issue.

“Cyberbully” follows Taylor Hillridge (Osment), a teenage girl who falls victim to online bullying, and the cost it takes on her as well as her friends and family. Taylor is a pretty 17-year-old student dealing with her parents’ recent divorce and painfully aware of her lower social status in high school. When her mom gives her a computer for her birthday, Taylor is excited by the prospect of going online to meet new friends without her mother always looking over her shoulder. However Taylor soon finds herself the victim of betrayal and bullying while visiting a popular social website. Obsessed with the damaging posts, she begins to withdraw from her family and friends, including her life-long best friend, Samantha Caldone (Panabaker). Tormented and afraid to face her peers at school, Taylor is pushed to a breaking point. It is only after this life-changing event that Taylor learns that she is not alone – meeting other teens, including a classmate, who have had similar experiences. Taylor’s mom, Kris (Rowan), reels from the incident and takes on the school system and state legislation to help prevent others from going through the same harrowing ordeal.

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