Combat Hate app launches in Chicago to fight bullying

March 11, 2014 (CHICAGO)

"Extremists use the internet, especially social networking, to target and recruit young people," Rabbi Abraham Cooper said. "We need to empower young people when they see this stuff to click it and send it our way. It is mostly anonymous."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center launched the app in Chicago. It allows people to report hate crimes and cyberbullying through smart phones.

Allison Pure-Slown, central Midwest regional director at Wiesenthal, said she was bullied as a child.

"I wish we would have had an app or a place to report so I could be in a safe environment," she said.

"Someone has to say enough is enough. And now is the time to stop it, combat it and say it is not OK," Pastor Chris Harris, Bright Star Church, said. "This took is extremely good, but having people who will step up and utilize it will make the tool great."

Camille Cam Paddock, 15, said she considered taking her own life because the bullying was so bad at her school.

"I was sick of it. I was done. They kept telling me, 'Go kill yourself. You are worthless, ugly. No one likes you. And I started believing these things," Paddock said. "There was a point that I did want to kill myself. And I thought about it."

Paddock, who started the nonprofit organization Cam's Dare To Be Different to reach kids and end bullying, thinks the app will help.

Combat Hate is available for download on iPhones at the App Store in iTunes and for android phones on Google Play. People can also text combathate to 27126.

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