Mobile phones, Internet access and social networking have opened many doors for teenagers to stay connected to one another. However, it’s also brought the dangers of bullying to the forefront, as more and more teenagers are exposed to its verbal and visual violence. In today’s interconnected world, bullying poses a serious problem for countless teens. Therefore, the need arises for CyberBullying Statistics.
Cyberbullying Statistics in the United Kingdom
The following numbers related to Cyberbullying Statistics are according to Liam Hackett (2013) in his Annual Bullying Survey taken from over 2,000 British teens.
The level of Cyberbullying Statistics in the UK is a growing trend and 7 in 10 (69%) young people aged 13 and 22 had experienced Cyberbullying with 20% of which had been very extreme. 37% of these experience bullying frequently. 20% also had undergone extreme cases and were twice as likely to be bullied on Facebook than on any other site, with 54% of people being bullied on this site. Hackett added that a young transgender is more likely to experience this than boys or girls. When scaled from 1 to 10 to test the effect it brings on their self-esteem with 10 being incredibly severe, 7.5 was the average. “It’s having a massive impact on young people and it’s ‘heartbreaking to read’,” he said.
Another research led by Steven Walker (2011) on Cyberbullying Statistics reported that over a quarter (29%) of those who had experienced bullying stayed away from school, while 39% stopped socializing outside the campus. “As the use of social media amongst young people continues to grow … Cyberbullying Statistics in the UK is only likely to get worse,” he suggested, “… the internet provides a new means through which children and young people are bullied”. Whatever varied results from different surveys show, the fact still remains that more and more people, almost or over a quarter, especially young ones not just in the UK but the whole world over have been experiencing bullying.
Between 1 April 2011 to 31 March, 2012 ChildLine carried out 31,599 counselling interactions with a primary concern of bullying. This represents 10% of the total counselling interactions undertaken during that period.
The rate of bullying is similar to that of domestic violence, sexual abuse or deep emotional trauma; a child is generally unwilling to seek counselling from an adult unless they feel helpless and hopeless. This accentuates the gravity of the situation and its spread.
April (2012) The Guasp school report in April 2012 reports that Almost half (46%) of children and young people say they have been bullied at school at some point in their lives.
38% of disabled children worried about being bullied.
Over half (55%) of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people have experienced homophobic bullying at school.
Though bullying has no specific trigger or victim; perpetrators always target who they believe are weaklings; i.e. someone they doubt would be able to stand up to them or receive support from peers.
Also, Ditch the Label, released its annual Cyberbullying Statistics report and here are some of the key Cyberbullying Statistics 2014 covered.
Note: more than 10,000 youths were surveyed.
• 7 in 10 young people are victims of cyberbullying
• 37% of them are experiencing cyberbullying on a highly frequent basis
• 20% of young people are experiencing extreme cyberbullying on a daily basis
• New research suggests that young males and females are equally at risk of cyberbullying
• Young people were found to be twice as likely to be cyberbullied on Facebook as on any other social network. Red Flag?
• 54% of young people using Facebook reported that they have experienced cyberbullying on the social network
• Facebook, Ask.FM and Twitter were found to be the most likely sources of cyberbullying, being the highest in traffic of all social networks.
• Cyberbullying found to have catastrophic effects on the self-esteem and social lives of up to 70% of young people
• An estimated 5.43 million young people in the UK have experienced cyberbullying, with 1.26 million subjected to extreme cyberbullying on a daily basis.
According to Anti-Bullying Alliance, nearly one in five (17%) of London children experience mean or cruel behaviour online and a quarter of kids in the capital are witnessing the cyber-bullying of a classmate or friend.
Only 15 %of parents think that their child is safe online
47% of parents are concerned about their child being bullied online
Half of the parents think their child may have been bullied online, and 15 %know this for certain.
44% of parents think their child may be a cyber-bully themselves and 13 %have been told that their child is a cyber-bully.
65% of children often go online without any parental supervision
26 % spend four hours or more online every day.
53 % of children go online in their own room.
23% of children who have directed a comment with cruel or abusive language to someone online consider it ‘mean’ to the person it was directed at, and just 9% consider that behaviour to be cyber-bullying.
In addition, 15% think if someone was upset by a mean comment directed at them online, they would be ‘over-reacting’, and 24% said they would be shocked to have their comments perceived as cruel.
Bullying and Cyberbullying Statistics in the United States
According to a 2011 Harvard School of Health Study: Male bullies are nearly four times as likely as non-bullies to grow up to physically or sexually abuse their female partners.
By age 24, 60 percent of former school bullies had been convicted of a criminal charge at least once.
The issue of bullying doesn’t just erode a student’s self-esteem, it affects grades as well. An atmosphere that is unsafe for kids leads to lower academic performance.
Schools with higher reports of bullying scored 3 to 6 percent lower than schools that had strong anti-bullying policies in place.
Schools that have anti-bullying programs reduce bullying by 50 percent.
Bullying is at its worst in middle school. The percent of middle schools that reported bullying problems is 44 percent. While 20 percent of high schools reported bullying problems and 20 percent of elementary schools reported bullying problems.
According to the most recent statistics by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Health and Human Services, and Cyberbullying Research Center, bullying continues to plague all our schools.
Students who reported being bullied at school: 37 percent.
Students who bully others often: 17 percent.
Kids who were made fun of by a bully: 20 percent.
Students who suffered from having rumours or gossip spread about them: 10 percent.
Kids who reported being physically bullied: 20 percent.
Kids who felt excluded from activities they wanted to participate in: 5 percent.
Students reported that 85 percent of the bullying occurred inside the school.
Other bullying incidents that occurred on school grounds, bus or on their way home: 11 percent.
Only 29 percent of students actually reported the bullying to someone at school.
The intensity of bullying also varies.
In October 2013, data were collected from about 400 students at one middle school (ages ranging from 11-14) in the Midwest. Cyberbullying statistics show:
– 97.5% have been online in the previous 30 days
– 63% have a cell phone
– 45% are on Facebook
– 42% are on Instagram
– 11.5% have been the target of cyberbullying in the previous 30 days (boys: 6.8%; girls: 16.0%)
– 3.9% have cyberbullied others in the previous 30 days (boys: 0.6%; girls: 6.9%)
According to a UCLA psychology study on cyberbullying statistics, bullying boosts the social status and popularity of middle school students. Psychologists studied 1,895 students at 11 Los Angeles middle schools, where students were asked to name the students who were considered the “coolest”. According to Jaana Juvonen, the lead author of the study, “The ones who are ‘cool’ bully more, and the ones who bully more are seen as ‘cool’”.
20 percent of U.S. students in grades 9-12 reportedly have experienced bullying, while 28 percent of students in grades 6-12 report the same. Experts agree that most incidences of bullying occur during middle school.
According to one study on cyberbullying statistics cited by the DHHS, 29.3 percent of middle school students had experienced bullying in the classroom; 29 percent experienced it in hallways or lockers; 23.4 percent were bullied in the cafeteria; 19.5 percent were bullied during gym class; and 12.2 percent of bullied kids couldn’t even escape the torture in the bathroom.
Most of the students in the study reported name calling as the most prevalent type of bullying, followed by teasing, rumour-spreading, physical incidents, purposeful isolation, threats, belongings being stolen, and sexual harassment. Surprisingly, cyberbullying occurred with the least frequency.
70.6 percent of teens have seen bullying occur in their schools – and approximately 30 percent of young people admit to bullying themselves. With so many students seeing what goes on, one has to wonder why bullying proliferates – especially since the DHHS reports that bullying stops within 10 seconds 57 percent of the time when someone intervenes. Juvonen found in her study that “A simple message, such as ‘Bullying is not tolerated,’ is not likely to be very effective,” and that effective anti-bullying programs need to focus on the bystanders, who can step in and stop the behaviour.
A 2011 Pew Internet and American Life Survey revealed only about seven percent of parents are concerned about cyberbullying in general.
However, the American Osteopathic Association reports as many as 52 percent of parents are concerned with bullying on social media sites with only about 1 in 6 parents being aware of this behaviour in regard to their children.
About 10 percent of teens report bullying online to their parents according to the Hartford County Examiner.
Only 1/5 of those instances are reported to law enforcement officials.
Cyberbullying isn’t just a phenomenon that is confined to the United States – it is a worldwide problem that affects teens across the globe.
Cyberbullying Statistics: What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is bullying behaviour (tormenting, threatening, harassment, etc.) that takes place through electronic mediums, including the Internet and mobile phones. This form of bullying can take on various forms, including:
Delivering threats or hurtful messages to someone via email or text message
Spreading false rumours through text messages, online boards or social networking sites.
Leaving hurtful, harassing or threatening messages on web pages or social networking sites.
Impersonating someone else online to harass or hurt another person.
Spreading unflattering or sexually suggestive pictures of another person and spreading them via the Internet or cell phones.
Cyberbullying is something that affects teens of all races and genders. Recent statistics show that boys are more likely to receive threats from cyberbullies than girls, while girls are just as likely as boys to engage in cyberbullying or fall victim to cyberbullying.
The act of cyberbullying itself is often fluid enough for the bully to become the victim and vice-versa. Oftentimes, a target of bullying can easily become an aggressor, while someone who attempts to defend a target of bullying ends up becoming a target themselves.
Cyberbullying is a form of teen violence that has lasting and even deadly repercussions for many teenagers. It’s also a form of violence that most parents don’t find out about until it is too late, since over half of the young teens who experience or witnessed online bullying do not tell their parents.
Cyberbullying Statistics: How to Stop & Prevent Cyberbullying
By becoming more aware of cyberbullying as it happens, parents and authority figures can help reduce the prevalence of cyberbullying. Parents should talk to their teens about this phenomenon, explain how it can have devastating consequences and encourage teens to alert an adult if cyberbullying occurs. Victims of cyberbullying should keep messages as proof for parents and/or law enforcement officials, especially if the messages are threatening or sexual in nature. There are other ways parents and teens can help stop cyberbullying in its tracks:
Teens should never share personal information online or meet people they only know online.
Parents should keep the computer centrally located in a shared area (i.e. living room or family room) and not allow teens to have computers or Internet access in their own rooms.
Teens should be encouraged to not share anything they don’t want to be made public through texting or instant messaging.
According to a recent report by EU Kids Online, it was found that 55% of 9- 16-year-olds think that there are things online that bother children their age. Also, 12% of children (and 8% of their parents) say they have been bothered or upset by something online in the past year. 4,7 % of kids polled say they experienced Bullying (usually repeated aggression).
We hope you have enjoyed our latest Cyberbullying Statistics and we encourage you to share and spread this article on Cyberbullying Statistics so that no one becomes a number anymore.
There is a worldwide movement against bullying. No longer can all bullies get away with attacks on the weaker ones. Parents, teachers, students, teens, children, and community leaders, agree to work on the efforts to, “STOP BULLYING!” Some bullies, who used to get away with these negative behaviours, are no longer able to do these bad things in front of others without having a challenge.
Now it is cooler to challenge bullying than it used to be in the past. Enlightened teenagers, who go to schools with a zero tolerance for bullying, know that all they have to do is start screaming, “STOP BULLYING,” whenever they see it. The reaction of teachers, staff, and school administration is immediate.
This positive trend is gaining global momentum. Because of this, bullying is decreasing in terms of middle school bullying and high school cyberbullying. Nevertheless, the problem has not gone away completely. In some parts of the world, it is increasing.
Cyberbullying statistics show that efforts to prevent cyberbullying at school and in the university, help kids, teens, and young adults have a safe place to learn. What about the characteristics of bullying that occur in other places? It is important to stop cyberbullying at work also.
It is surprising that adults, who should know better, engage in Internet bullying. Because online connections are so easy to make, there is the ability to communicate 24 hours per day and seven days per week.
In other words, there is no escape from cyberbullying attacks if attempted by a co-worker at any time of night or day. Many are so fearful of losing their jobs that they respond to any communication from a company resource at any time when a message arrives. This could be after work hours, in the middle of the night, or in the earliest part of the morning.
It is offsetting to get messages from company channels at these odd times. This is why some countries, like Germany, have laws that ban company communications by electronic means in times that are not directly work related.
When these messages arrive at odd times, which are work-related, it is bad enough; however, when the messages are workplace cyberbullying, they are unacceptable. Cyberbullying laws in many places make it a crime for adults to use cyberbullying on social media or by any other means to harass a co-worker. Office bullying, like sexual harassment, is illegal in most developed nations. Harassment in the workplace creates liability for the organizations that permit it to occur and continue.
If an employee conducts the harassment against a co-worker, the laws against cyberbullying support lawsuits with significant damage awards in proven cyberbullying cases. Because of this, companies are taking cyberbullying awareness seriously, when employees are involved.
No one needs to be harassed in off-time hours and no one should be the recipient of cyberbullying. The hope is that other countries follow the lead set by Germany. Work time and private time are different. Just because communication is possible, does not make it acceptable.
Types of Bullying in the USA
Bullying in America is an epidemic. It can be verbal, physical, sent through electronic means, and even political. Counter-measures are coming into place, such as a national zero-tolerance for bullying in public schools; however, bullying still happens in America.
Because so many children and teens have access to technology connected to the Internet, cyberbullying in the USA is still rampant. Heidi Cohen who is a renowned Internet guru regarding social media usage, notes that American teens in 2015 interact with each other via social media more than ever before. Statistics on cyberbullying help understand how to deal with the problem. Parents need to learn how to protect a teen. They can do this by understanding the teen suicides caused by cyberbullying, so they can prevent their own teen from committing suicide. Many horrible examples appeared as national news stories.
The chances of encountering cyberbullying online increased for American teens because they have such frequent and steady online access. A study of American teens by the Pew Research Center noted in 2016 that about 24% of American teens are online constantly. More than half of American teens are online several times per day. The vast majority of teens in America (nearly two-thirds) have a smartphone. About 91% of teens go online, at least occasionally.
How does cyberbullying occur?
It can start with text messages, emails, tweets, or comments on social media, such as on a Facebook page. Facebook bullying is typically comments like, “You are fat,” or “You are ugly,” or the more vicious, “You don’t deserve to live,” or “You should kill yourself.”
Not everyone knows how to handle bullying. It may sound ridiculous that teens who receive the comment, “You should kill yourself,” act on it. Most would simply respond, “Piss off.” However, many teens take these comments very seriously. Some act on them in very harmful ways especially if they receive a constant barrage of these hateful messages. Cyberbullying signs are not always easy for parents to see and the long term effects of cyberbullying are extremely harmful.
Cyberbullying statistics give many examples of cyberbullying leading to teenage suicide. In an article about this topic, NoBullying.com covered some of the saddest stories of cyberbullying:
- Amanda Todd – A stranger online tricked Amanda into sending photos of her breasts. He used them to blackmail her. She made an online video about the bullying and then, one month later, she hung herself. She was 15.
- Hope Sitwell – Hope sent a private photo of her breasts to her boyfriend. He shared it with students at six other schools in the area. The cyberbullies started a “Hope Hater” webpage on MySpace, which led her to hang herself at the age of 13.
- Jessica Logan – Jessica sent a private nude photo of herself to her boyfriend. When they broke up, he shared the photo with hundreds of other students. The cyberbullying attacks came on Facebook, MySpace, and by emails. She hanged herself when she was 18.
- Megan Meier – Megan had ADD, depression, and difficulty with her weight. Cyberbullying by girls, pretending to be a boy that liked her and then rejected her, led her to hang herself when she was 13.
- Ryan Halligan – Ryan had learning disabilities. A school bully spread a rumour that he was gay. A popular girl student befriended him online, only to use what she learned to humiliate him. Ryan hung himself when he was 14.
- Tyler Clementi – Tyler killed himself when he was 18 because a spying webcam captured him having a same-sex relationship. Harassment was on Twitter with the video was shown to others.
The challenge with cyberbullying is that teachers, parents, and authorities may not realize what is happening in time to save those who are under attack. When a person already has learning disabilities, self-esteem issues, or mental health problems they are extremely vulnerable to this type of vicious cyberbullying attack.
Teens who commit suicide are usually already struggling with emotional and social issues. Cyberbullying itself is not the sole cause of these teen suicides. Cyberbullying makes a bad situation worse because it reinforces the lowering of self-esteem that leads a teen to despair.
A suicide attempt, as well as being a desperate call out for help, is an act of revenge against society, other students, and possibly their parents. If they die from suicide, their thoughts convinced them that there was no way out. We all need to learn why people cyberbully, what causes it, the effects of cyberbullying, and how to stop it.
Facts About Cyberbullying in America
A research paper published by Sameer Hinduja, PhD and Justin W. Patchin, PhD of the Cyberbullying Research Center gives horrific facts that are shocking. They conducted a survey of 2,000 randomly selected middle school students from a large school district in the United States to assess the history of cyberbullying and gather more cyberbullying information.
Their analysis of the survey results showed these cyberbullying facts:
- One in five of these students (20%) had seriously thought about suicide and almost all of those who thought of suicide (19%), also attempted it.
- Students who were the bullies (offenders) had similar suicidal tendencies as those students that were the bullying victims.
- When comparing the rates between traditional bullying and cyberbullying the statistics were similar.
- Compared to students with no experience of bullying or being a bully, traditional bullies were 2.1 times more likely to have attempted suicide and their victims were 1.7 times more likely to have attempted suicide.
- For cyberbullying, the rates for bullies were 1.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide and their victims were 1.9 times more likely to have attempted suicide.
- The most common form of cyberbullying attack was posting something online to make fun of another person. Of the surveyed teens, 23.1% admitted doing this.
- The most common form of cyberbullying victimization was receiving a hurtful email from someone they know. Of the surveyed teens, 18.3% complained about receiving such emails.
Are Bullies Victims Too?
The surprising thing to note from this research is that bullies who victimized other students were just as likely to attempt suicide as their victims were. Clearly, the bullies are suffering from problems as well.
Other research, reported by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), points out a correlation between being a bully and being a victim of child abuse at home. The NASP says that bullies are often from home environments that lack supervision, have parents that are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, and suffer from physical, and emotional abuse. They note that children exposed to bullying from parents or sibling bullying are likely to copy this behaviour and become bullies themselves.
A study report on the U.S. National Institute for Health website, investigating why people cyberbully, shows a direct relationship between alcohol use by parents and increased bullying behavioural problems. These problems include being a bully or being a victim of a bully. The problem starts at a young age. Boys with alcoholic fathers were significantly likely to engage in primary bullying or if insecure become a victim of a bully.
Frequent, severe, and long-lasting cyberbullying as reported by Kidshealth.org puts both the victims and the bullies at great risk of depression, anxiety, stress-based illnesses, self-harm, and suicide.
Cyberbullying in America
Kidshealth.org notes that one in four American teens is a victim of cyberbullying and one in six U.S. teens admits to cyberbullying another teen.
The real challenge of how to prevent cyberbullying is that most American teens are constantly online, sending text messages, and engaging with social media. When a teen is under cyber attack from a bully, there is no escaping the relentless 24-hour/7 days a week online media. Many do not have sufficient coping skills to know how to deal with the attack or know about resources that can help them.
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
Each year, Hazelden Publishing releases a Bullying in U.S. Schools report. The most current version, as of this writing, comes from the year 2014. This report summarizes the results that come from the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire™, developed by Dan Olweus, PhD. who works at the University of Bergen in Norway.
Background of Dr Olweus
Dr Olweus studied the bullying problem for decades and is one of the first researchers in the world to conduct a large-scale analysis of the causes and prevalence of bullying. The annual studies using student questionnaires serve as a report on the bullying trends in America and proof of bullying reduction after schools implement an Olweus Bullying Prevention Program,
Educational Level of Students in the Study
The 2014 Olweus Bullying Questionnaire™ collected data from 150,000 students. The students attended schools, which had the intent to implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in the future. This allowed the schools to learn how bad the problem really was.
All students from grades 3 to 12 in America, who participated in the study, answered the same questionnaire. This provides a unique dataset to use for evidence-based bullying reduction by yearly monitoring the status of bullying and anti-social behaviour in schools.
The report notes that girls are likely to experience bullying by both girls and boys. Boys are more likely to experience bullying from other boys. Verbal bullying is the most common form at school, with 15% of boys reporting it and 16% of the girls reporting that they have been subject to verbal bullying two or three times or more during a month. Only 8% of the boys reported physical bullying, compared with 5% of the girls.
Bullying Takes Many Forms
When trying to define what is a bully, there are ten forms of bullying studied by Dr Olweus included in the definition.
This list is in order with the most common bullying method listed first:
- Other ways
Students who experienced bullying typically experienced three or more of these ten types of bullying at the same time.
Extent of Cyberbullying from the Olweus Study
The cyberbullying statistics discovered by the study showed that 6% of the girls reported being cyberbullied and 4% of the boys reported they had been subject to cyberbullying attacks. Dr Olweus notes that cyberbullying may not be as common as the media would make it appear, yet it is still serious and often happens in combination with other types of bullying simultaneously.
Cyberbullying Increases with Older Students
For those students bullied two or three times or more during a month, cyberbullying is more frequent as they get older. For bullied girls in the third to fifth grade, 15% experienced cyberbullying. In the sixth to eight-grade, this increased to 27% and for those in high school, 31% had been cyberbullied. Of bullied boys, in the third to fifth grade, 15% experienced cyberbullying. In the sixth to eight-grade, this decreased to 14% and for those in high school, 28% experienced cyberbullying.
On average, for a bullied student, the frequency of cyberbullying doubles during high school. This is because of more access and more use of online and electronic communications by older students.
About 25% of bullied students report that bullying lasted for several years, 39% reported that the bullying lasted longer than one year, and 51% reported the bullying lasted for six months or more. It is no wonder that some of these bullied students are driven to despair, especially when cyberbullying is possible non-stop 24 hours every day.
Imagine what it must be like to get a text message you think is from a friend and instead, you are called a “dirty whore,” “slut, “porn queen,” and more vulgarities. This is what cyberbullies did constantly to Jessica Logan, who killed herself.
How Bad is the Cyberbullying Problem?
The cyberbullying trends are similar in most parts of the world where teens and children experience a lot of online access. The more time they spend online and the more devices they have to connect electronically with others, the greater the risk of cyberbullying.
Some parents consider restrictions on online access, yet they need to be careful that they do not do more harm than good. If a student already feels socially isolated, cutting off online access may make matters worse. Nevertheless, monitoring online usage by parents is the recommendation of many child psychologists. They recommend watching for sudden negative mood changes after Internet usage
The Bullying in U.S. Schools report noted that over one-third of both boys and girls being bullied in high school do not tell their parents about it. . If the cyberbullying is spreading around a nude photo without authorization, it is very unlikely a teen can talk to their parents about it. Nevertheless, this is exactly the kind of thing that needs to happen between parents whose children experience cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is only one piece of the bullying that occurs. Bullied students say bullying happens on and off the school campus and in many places. Unfortunately, some students join in with the bullying of someone they do not like. Some will simply watch and do nothing.
One positive trend in America is that most students from all age groups feel sorry for bullied students (93% of the girls and 82% of the boys). About half the students, who feel sorry for a bullied student, will take action to help them. This amount increases and can be measured once an extensive anti-bullying campaign is in place, such as the bullying prevention programs recommended by Dr Olweus.
American Cyberbullying Facts
The Megan Meier Foundation gives a list of cyberbullying statistics for America, which include:
- Around 43% of students report being cyberbullied. This is far less than the 15% reported by their parents.
- Teenage girls are more likely (40.6%) to be cyberbullied than teenage boys (28.2%).
- Using social media for cyberbullying, girls post mean comments. Boys are more likely to post hurtful photos or videos.
- 61% of overweight teens experience cyberbullying.
- 60% of teens in 2013 reported that they now keep their Facebook profiles private and have confidence in managing their accounts.
- One in six teens said they had contact with a stranger online that made them feel uncomfortable or scared.
- 88% of teens that use social media observed people using the system to be mean or cruel to others and 95% of those teens say that others ignore the mean behaviour.
Global Cyberbullying Trends
An article about a poll conducted by Ipsos/Reuters, which surveyed over 18,000 adults (about 6,500 were parents) from 24 different countries, gives some global cyberbullying statistics, which include:
- Over 10% of parents worldwide say that their child experienced cyberbullying and 25% say they know a child who experienced it.
- More than 75% of the people surveyed said that they thought cyberbullying was a dangerous type of harassment needing extra attention from schools and parents.
- 60% said that the most common way to encounter cyberbullying were to use Facebook or other social media
- 40% said that mobile devices that receive text messages and online chat rooms were the second most common place to receive cyberbullying
- The average awareness of cyberbullying worldwide was that two-thirds knew something about it. However, the awareness levels differed significantly between countries.
- The highest awareness was in Indonesia, where 91% knew about the problem and how it negatively affects teens and children. In Indonesia, 53% knew of a child who was a target of cyberbullying.
- The awareness of cyberbullying in Australia, Poland, and Sweden was around 87%.
- In the United States, 82% knew about cyberbullying and that it sometimes caused teenage suicides.
- In Russia, awareness levels were only 35%, even though cyberbullying of LGBT teens and adults is exponentially increasing.
- Saudi Arabia, with its seriously oppressive regime, had a low cyberbullying awareness of 29%.
Frequency of Parents Reporting their Children Experienced Cyberbullying
The full Ipsos/Reuters report shows the following percentages of parents who have a child or teen that experienced cyberbullying. The survey of participants from 24 countries, noted that these figures came from the parents. Many parents are not aware their child experiences cyberbullying. Therefore, the percentages are low and in reality, the actual incidences of cyberbullying are much higher.
Here are the survey results of the parents reporting cyberbullying of their children:
- India – 32%
- Brazil – 20%
- Canada – 18%
- Saudi Arabia – 18%
- United States – 15%
- Indonesia – 14%
- Sweden – 14%
- Australia – 13%
- Poland – 12%
- Belgium – 12%
- China – 11%
- Great Britain – 11%
- South Africa – 10%
- Argentina – 9%
- Mexico – 8%
- South Korea – 8%
- Germany – 7%
- Japan – 7%
- Hungary – 7%
- Spain – 5%
- France – 5%
- Turkey – 5%
- Italy – 3%
Long-Term Impact of Bullying on Children Worse than Child Abuse
Two studies done about the effect of child abuse on children compared to the long-term effect of bullying found similar results for both UK children and American children. The negative long-term problems, especially mental health issues, were significantly greater for children bullied by other children when compared to children who suffered child abuse from an adult.
The bullying of children by other children usually starts with name-calling then escalates into other forms of bullying, and sometimes includes cyberbullying. This increase in bullying, taking multiple forms, is what deteriorates the mental health of the children in their formative years. This causes lingering problems when they become adults.
Child abuse eventually stops because a child becomes an adult. Bullying may never stop, even when a person becomes an adult. This is not an attempt to diminish the seriousness of child abuse, but rather to point out the significant damage of bullying as well.
Both groups, of the children abused by an adult and those bullied by other children, when they grow up; are more likely to become depressed, have mental health issues, and become suicidal. The studies found that bullying experiences had a greater negative effect later in life.
The study in the UK was the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in England. The study considered the health issues of 14,500 families in Bristol, England to discover trends that might help future generations. In the Avon study, there were 4,026 children. Of those children, 8% suffered from child abuse, 30% were victims of bullying, and 7% experienced child abuse and bullying.
One of the conclusions of the Avon study was that children who experienced bullying were 70% more likely to develop depression as an adult or engage in some form of self-harm when compared to children that suffered only child abuse.
The American study was the Great Smoky Mountains Study in North Carolina. In that study, there were 1,073 children from the ages of 7 to 16. The researchers studied them for ten years. The study participants came from 11 counties in North Carolina and included 349 Native American Indian youth from the Cherokee Nation. Of the children in the study, 15% suffered from child abuse, 16% were victims of bullying, and 10% experienced child abuse and bullying.
The American study concluded that the risk of mental health problems as adults was four times greater for bullied children than those who suffered only child abuse.
When combining the results from both studies, it shows about 40% of children who suffered from child abuse from an adult, experienced bullying from other children as well. The researchers recommend that more efforts to combat bullying would benefit public health in both the UK and the USA.
Bullying and Cyberbullying in Russia
Russia has a terrible reputation for its bullying and state-sponsored cyberbullying, especially as it relates to LGBT teens. An anti-gay law passed in 2003 in Russia that makes it now illegal to give teens any literature, whether in print, online, or using any media, which contains a positive message and/or health information about safe sex for LGBT teens. Any public display, such as an advertisement promoting safe sex with a gay theme is now a crime. Public gay pride events are banned. LGBT organizations are under attack. Police do little to nothing about assaults reported by LGBT people.
Russian cyber criminals and fascists, in response to these anti-gay laws, began using websites and adult sex sites to lure gays and gay teens somewhere on the premise of meeting for sex. When the teens arrived, expecting to meet another gay teen, they received vicious torture and beatings instead. Some interrogations of gay Russian teens are on YouTube (Warning: viewer discretion advised). Besides putting these videos on the Internet in a massive cyberbullying campaign, they send the video to families and employees of the victims.
The message from Vladimir Putin and his brutal country of Russia is that if you are gay, especially a gay teen, you are in danger of physical attack.
One of the First Known Russian Suicides from Cyberbullying
Vladimir Golubov, a twenty-year-old man, killed himself when a former lover, a woman who was ten-years older, spread the false rumours on social networks in Russia that Vladimir was gay.
She did this when Vladimir broke off the relationship after she got pregnant. Vladimir knew the child was not his, even though she claimed it was. The reason why Vladimir was certain is an operation he had as a child left him sterile and not able to make a baby with a woman.
This despicable woman, Anna Simonenko, went on Russia’s popular social media website, called Odnoklassniki (“classmates” in English). She used fake names and many accounts to spread rumours that Vladimir Golubo was homosexual. She sent messages to all his friends. He hung himself, even though he was heterosexual. Anna was sentenced to prison for one year and nine months for being the cause of Vladimir’s suicide.
Cyberbullying of LGBT people in Russia
The BBC reported that violence against gays in Russia and cyberbullying of those suspected of being gay is epidemic. Many are choosing to leave their home country because cyberbullying and physical attacks make them live in fear for their lives.
In Russia, it is Putin’s idea to have a war on gays, which he uses online media to promote. Before the new wave of anti-gay sentiment, a majority of Russians were tolerant of gay people. Now, this percentage dropped to only 16% of the Russian people accept homosexuality as reported by Pew Research. Obviously, homophobic propaganda is working in Russia. This makes Putin the biggest cyberbully in the world.
Russian State-Sponsored Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is not limited to attacks just on individuals; it also includes attacks on organizations. Organizations pay money when blackmailed by cyber criminals, in order to get important information back or to prevent private information from released.
Other organizations are targets of cyberbullying because of their political nature. An example of this would be the hacking of Hilary Clinton’s email server and the emails of the Democratic National Committee. The political ramifications are serious.
It could be said that Wikileaks engages in cyberbullying on a massive scale. The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, recently went in front of the global media saying that Wikileaks will publish many things, obtained from the Russians, which make Hilary Clinton look bad. That is cyberbullying on an international level.
A report published by the U.S. Daily Review, quotes Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, as saying Russia’s cyber attacks and it’s state-sponsored cyberbullying is one of the greatest threats to America’s national security. The article says that cyberbullying in Russia is a problem the west must face or suffer serious consequences.
Bullying in the Middle East
Places even worse than Russia are some of the countries in the Middle East, where being gay is enough to be flogged and/or stoned to death. The cyberbullying part is the publication on the Internet of the sometimes state-sponsored public floggings and executions, which terrorizes LGBT people in those countries who live in fear.
Cyberbullying in Japan
Makoto, a Japanese high school student, in 2007, became one of the first Japanese teens driven to attempt suicide from the impact of cyberbullying. He stopped going to school, became anorexic, and tried to kill himself twice. Luckily, his suicide attempts failed. Makoto’s story brought international attention to a problem that Japanese officials were reluctant to admit existed in Japan.
Not so lucky were the ones who came after Makoto, such as an 18-year old boy from Kobe who jumped off a building when his classmates posted a nude photo of him online and demanded blackmail money. Many more teens committed suicide over cyberbullying since then. Japanese law prevents the release of their names. Cases of cyberbullying are on the rise in Japan.
In Japan, a cell phone is a lifeline that everyone uses all the time. Cyberbullies in Japan use fake accounts to hide their identity and then constantly send vicious messages to their victims. This anonymity allows them to express such evil things, which they would never have the nerve to say to someone in person.
Turning off a cell phone is like completely disconnecting from all friends. When new messages come in, there is a compelling urge to read them and respond. In Japan, it is impolite to read a message and not respond. After reading an evil message, the psychological damage accumulates. Hundred of these messages have the ability to drive anyone to suicide because the victim starts to believe they are true.
The Japanese Times reports a law against bullying of all kinds, including cyberbullying began in June 2013. This law came into being because of a junior high boy from Otsu, who committed suicide due to severe harassment. At first, both the city officials and the school administrators denied any bullying took place. An investigation showed otherwise, and the officials reversed their position causing an outrage.
In 2013, schools in Japan reported 8,787 cases of cyberbullying a total of 185,860 bullying cases. In Japan, cyberbullying can easily spiral out of control when others jump in to attack a weaker one. A strong group mindset encourages conformity with the rest of the group. This is the negative effect of psychological peer pressure in Japan.
Cyberbullying starts up on the popular social media chat room system called “Line” in Japan to get attention from other spectators on the chat. Spectators jump in to add to the attack when the momentum sweeps them up. Everyone feels participatory when attacking a weaker one as a group.
These are just a few examples of the extent of cyberbullying around the globe. In many places, the problem is increasing in severity, because online connections and using simple devices such as smartphones are becoming more available. The equipment now costs less, the services are easier to find in most parts of the world, and the popularity of being on social media with friends is compelling for most young people.
The dangers of cyberbullying are real. When cyberbullying is extreme, it becomes strongly influential in some youth suicides.
What to Do About Cyberbullying
First, gain more awareness about cyberbullying from the information and resources found on websites like issdevelopmysites.io to understand how to avoid it. If you are a participant in cyberbullying, STOP! If you are being cyberbullied as a teen or child, or you know someone who is, speak up to any responsible adult, who could be a parent, a teacher, a coach, a preacher, a school counsellor, or a community supporter.
If you are an adult, experiencing work-related cyberbullying, talk to a work supervisor. If the cyberbullying comes from a stranger/stalker type online, contact law enforcement.
There is no need to suffer from cyberbullying attacks. The way to stop cyberbullying is to tell someone you trust about what is going on and seek help for the problem. You do not have to fight this problem alone.