Think CyberBullying Isn’t Real? Think Again.

cyberbullySome people question whether or not cyberbullying is really as big of a problem as people say it is.  I saw it’s even MORE of a problem than most people think. Here’s a few facts from a terrific article on Social Media NZ-

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT CYBERBULLYING: THE STATS AND FACTS

(Statistics provided by: ‘nobullying.com’, Cyberbullying Research Centeri-SAFE Foundation, & ‘bullyingstatistics.org’)

Cyber-bullying is on the rise:
  • In 2013, almost 70% of young people were affected by cyberbullying.
  • In the UK, Childline reports that cyberbullying concerns rose by 87% in 2013.
  • In NZ, What’s Up’s Canterbury hotline saw a 70% increase in calls where children were in ‘imminent harm’, with cyberbullying suggested as being a key reason behind this.

Much cyberbullying is relentless and sustained:

  • Almost 40% of young people are experiencing cyberbullying on a ’highly frequent basis’
  • 20% of young people experience extreme cyberbullying on a daily basis. This refers to relentless and vicious victimisation intended to cause intentional harm.
  • Around 34% of those who were bullied said their experiences lasted for over a month.
Males and Females are equally at risk:
  • New research suggests that males and females are equally at risk of cyberbullying, though 19 year old males were the most common victims.
Facebook is the main offender:
  • Facebook is the leading social network used for cyberbullying with Twitter, Ask.FM, and Snapchat also found to be likely sources (basically anywhere that teens are).
  • Young people are twice as likely to be cyberbullied on Facebook than any other social network.
  • In fact, 55% of young people using Facebook reported that they have experienced cyberbullying on the social network.
Many victims are also perpetrators:
  • Almost half of teens exposed to cyberbullying have been both victim and perpetrator.
  • 21% of teens who have witnessed cyberbullying admit to joining in.
  • 75% of students admit that they have visited a website bashing another student.
Victims are keeping it to themselves:
  • Less than one in five teens said their first reaction would be to tell a parent and only 1% of those surveyed said their initial response would be to inform a teacher.
  • More than half of young people say that they would NEVER confide in their parents after becoming a victim of cyberbullying.
  • Fewer than 25% of serious cyberbullying incidents are reported to the Police, Netsafe or other appropriate bodies.

Victims are at risk:

  • Over 11% of teens have reported that embarrassing or damaging photos have been taken of them without their knowledge or consent.
  • Of the people who reported cyberbullying incidents, one third also reported that their bullies had issued online threats against them.
  • Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.
We are not taking action:
  • 95% of kids who witnessed bullying on social media report that others, like them, have ignored the behavior.
  • Only one out of every six parents are even aware of the scope and intensity involved with cyber bullying.

I never knew how terrible cyberbullying could be until I nearly lost my own 13 year old daughter to suicide, with cyberbullying being the part that pushed my daughter over the edge.   Social Media NZ is asking is who we should blame for the rise in cyberbullying, but to be honest, I want to  concentrate more on how to protect our kids from it! In fact, my daughter Ally shared some things on her blog, Losergurl.com that  you can do to protect yourself if you ARE cyberbullied:

There are some things that you should do if you are  cyberbulled, to help:

  1. Ignore: Do not react or respond. It’s hard, I know but  many times,  just not responding will stop the  attention they are seeking.
  2. Cut Off– Block the bully. You can block them from your phone, your social media accounts,  your computers.  Screen calls from unidentified numbers.
  3. Report Online. Most Social Media sites have TOS (Terms of Service) that you can report bulling behaviors to.  Sometimes service providers can look up IP address and  disclose “anonymous” bullies.
  4. Get Help.  Most states have laws or schools have policies that should help protect you against bullying.  If they can’t, or won’t help you, keep moving up the chain. Even the FBI has an Internet Crime division.
  5. Record:  Keep screen shots, printouts, texts, anything they used to bully you. It’s best to print it out. Also, if they are calling your and bullying you, keep a phone diary of what calls you received.

Cyberbullying is just as hurtful as physical bullying.  And it’s just as much of a crime. We need to prove to the bullies who hide behind screen names that they, too, will be held accountable.

Do you think cyberbullying is a big problem for our kids?  Did reading the statistics above change your mind?

 

30 Comments

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