Millie Bobby Brown says she felt “scared and helpless” after being bullied online
22 November 2019, 16:01 | Updated: 6 October 2020, 10:18
The Stranger Things actress opened up about trolling in a new UNICEF speech.
Millie Bobby Brown has just given a UNICEF speech in which she talks candidly about her experience as a victim of trolling.
Millie may be a popular celebrity but she also goes through many of the same struggles that other children her age go through. Despite starring as Eleven in Stranger Things on Netflix, Millie has still been the target of bullying and online trolling. Just last year, the 15-year-old deleted her Twitter account after she became the subject of an endless string of fake stories and memes accusing her of being homophobic to her fans. As it stands, Millie still hasn't reactivated her account.
Now, Millie has spoken in-depth about cyberbullying in a new speech for UNICEF about issues facing children today.
In her UNICEF speech, Millie said: "Today, I want to talk about an issue that is very personal to me, something that so often goes unnoticed but causes real suffering: bullying. I've been very lucky in my life. I take nothing for granted but I also know what it feels like to be vulnerable. At school, I was bullied by a group of students. I remember feeling helpless. You know, school used to be a safe place and now I was scared to go. I didn't know who I could trust or who I could turn to."
She then opened up about her experience with trolling: "Like millions of other girls around the world, I've also been bullied and harassed online. It's a terrifying feeling to look at your phone and see that messages people are sending you are filled with anger, hate and even threats. So many of these are strangers and anonymous trolls on the internet. Like all bullies, they gain their power by taking power away from others, by making them feel as scared and helpless as I did."
Millie then explained: "I was lucky. With the help of my friends, family and people around me, I was able to overcome these negative things and take my power back. But millions of children aren't so lucky. They're still struggling in the darkness. Bullying and online threats are never harmless, never just words. It puts children's mental health at risk. It causes stress and, in the most extreme cases, it can lead to self-harm, sickness and even suicide."
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today was beautiful. i was so grateful to have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of my idol, Audrey Hepburn. she addressed world leaders as they adopted the UN convention on the Rights of the Child. today was a dream because i joined @unicef to mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention and remind everyone *specifically world leaders* that children's rights matter. today is #WorldChildrensDay and I am v proud to join young people all across the world to ask world leaders to stand WITH us. listen. and make change. protect us and our beautiful planet! there's more work to do. much more. 💙
Millie concluded by saying: "I'm convinced that social media doesn't have to be a place of fear, bullying and harassment. It can bring people together. It can be a place of love and support."
Here's hoping that people listen to Millie so that she and millions of children around the world don't have to endure bullying or trolling anymore. In Millie's own words, we must "listen" to children.