Today, she is an Australian household name winning two ARIA awards with countless nominations, but as a child, like many other school-aged children Vanessa Amorosi was bullied.
"I was bullied throughout primary and high school," she says.
"It made me feel horrible being bullied as a kid it affects you, it makes you sad. I was lucky that I was able to channel that into writing music."
Together with The Kids Helpline, 30-year-old Vanessa is helping school children, teachers and parents have a better understanding of how cyber bullying affects children and teens through the Kids Helpline and Optus ‘Make Cyberspace a Better Place’ Campaign.
"With cyber bullying kids go home and in the comfort of their bedroom, it is still going on," she said.
“Bullying has always been a problem but when it spills into the Internet there is no escaping it. I think it is important for young people to know there are resources they can access and strategies they can implement to manage cyber bullying, to remain safe online and to rise above the bullies.”
Although the numbers surrounding how many school aged children are cyber bullied is blurred, research from The Kids Helpline suggests that cyber bullying can occur at multiple stages of a young person's life.
A cyber bullying study, which surveyed more than 500 students in primary school and high school, found that 86 percent of those surveyed were negatively impacted in some way from cyber bullying including their self-confidence, self-esteem and their friendships.
The bullying occurred via email (46 percent) online chat rooms (44 percent) social network sites (43 percent) and SMS (41 percent).
This new education campaign, put together by The Kids Helpline and Optus, will be delivered to 10,000 schools nationally in the hope of educating young people on how their actions can affect someone else and what to do if you are experiencing cyber bullying.
"As much as technology is wonderful it can be harmful to children," Vanessa, who has been affiliated with The Kids Helpline for more than 13 years, said.
"Kids Helpline and Optus have created educational resources for parents offering tips and advice on how to stay safe online."
"The packs contain useful information on issues including cyber bullying and sexting. They’re all about promoting the safe use of technology."
Vanessa says that the overall important message to be sending to kids who are experiencing any type of bullying is that help is available.
"I've been a victim of bullying myself and I know how it feels when you think no one will listen. Kids Helpline are here for you. Call them whenever and wherever; they’re there to help," she said.
If your child is being cyber bullied here are Vanessa's five tips on seeking help:
Visit the www.kidshelp.com.au for further information.
- Remember to tell them it is NOT their fault.
- There is help available (teachers, parents and counsellors can all be
helpful people to talk with) – or call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. They are there 24/7.
- Block the bullies from sending messages or emails, or tell yo0ur child to stay off line for a while.
- Report it – to your child's school, ISP provider or the police and take legal
action if needed.
- It can help to keep copies of abusive messages because they can be used later as evidence.
Related video: More cyber bullying tips.