What can you do about bullying?


Cyberbullying is a form of psychological violence. Acts such as harassment via WhatsApp, causing someone embarrassment on social media or sending private, intimate photos can be prosecuted in Switzerland.

Bullying: how to protect yourself

In Switzerland, one in ten children will become the target of bullying at some point during their school years, with many of them experiencing cyberbullying. But not only children and young people are affected. Adults can also become victims. Workplace bullying can have a serious impact on the targeted individual’s well-being and performance.

Victims of bullying can seek help from lawyers to defend their rights and claim damages. Legal expenses insurance can help cover the cost of legal action.

Advantages of CSS Legal Expenses Insurance for Bullying

  • Cover for bullying provides extended legal protection – for CHF 60 for individuals or CHF 80 for everyone living in the same household.
  • You can take out cover for bullying together with legal expenses insurance or as an add-on to it.
  • CSS guarantees that costs of up to CHF 10,000 will be covered in the event of legal action over bullying.
  • You can start claiming benefits just 6 months after taking out the policy.
  • Discount of 10% if you’re already insured with CSS and up to 5% discount for multi-year contracts.
Up to 15% discount on legal protection Help with a legal dispute.
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What is cyberbullying?

Bullying is the regular, deliberate harassment, intimidation, exclusion or embarrassment of a person face to face. It usually involves an imbalance of power between the person being bullied and the people doing the bullying. The incidents drag on over a lengthy period of time and have a hugely debilitating effect on the target.

Cyberbullying: Harassment takes place on digital channels like WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook. Timely action by the victims can prevent psychological distress such as depression, social isolation and severe self-doubt.

Examples of cyberbullying

  1. Sina L. is popular and likes going to school. She wants to become a doctor. When she is around 14 it suddenly starts: Another girl in her class spreads rumours about Sina on Snapchat, for all the class to see. Sina withdraws more and more, appears stressed, her grades start to fall rapidly. Her parents want to do something about it, but what’s the best way?
  2. Marco B. was given a woman’s phone number on a dating platform. The two write to one another for a few weeks and share private details. Marco suddenly receives messages from an unknown number: if he continues to write to the woman, all his messages and photos will be published along with his phone number. Marco B. seeks advice on legal protection.

Criminal law in Switzer­land: bullying is an offence

Bullying is a criminal offence in Switzerland when it involves insult, slander, defamation, threatening behaviour or coercion. Disclosing personal data without the consent of the data subject can also have legal consequences.

What can you do about cyberbullying?

People being bullied via digital platforms can take action against this. Just like people experiencing bullying in their private lives or at work.

How to protect yourself

  • Secure the evidence: Store SMS and other messages securely.
  • Keep a record: Make a detailed note of who did or said what, and when and where.
  • Block people: Block the bully’s mobile phone number so that you at least enjoy some peace electronically.
  • Protect your privacy: Don’t post information publicly about where you’ll be and when; that way, you’ll be less open to attack.
  • Get legal protection: Report the bullying to your legal advisor or legal expenses insurance so that criminal action can be instituted.

Specific tips for parents

  • As a parent, it’s good to talk openly to your children about cyberbullying and encourage them to tell you about any hurtful experiences they have online.
  • You can help your children to use digital media responsibly, and educate them about the risks of cyberbullying.

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