Bullying has morphed into something that is quickly getting out of control. While traditional bullying can stop on the playground or at school, cyberbullying continues outside of school hours. It weighs heavily on the psychological and emotional health of teens and children involved, sometimes leading to anxiety, depression and suicide.
In order to break down the barriers that keep schools and communities from effectively attacking cyberbullying, let’s start with the facts to help understand exactly how damaging the effects of cyberbullying are on teens and children.
Studies show that 81% of teens believe bullying is easier to get away with online. This sentiment can easily lead students to dismiss the consequences of bullying because they don’t believe they will get caught.
Almost 35% of teens have been threatened online, while 1 in 5 teens has experienced cyberbullying more than once. Sadly, these numbers are increasing at an alarming rate.
66% of teens who have witnessed cyberbullying have also seen others join in with the bullying, which can make matters extremely worse for the victim.
Victims of cyberbullying exhibit warning signs that parents should watch for, such as aggression, symptoms of withdrawal and lower grades than usual.
According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 1,599 children called the ChildLine in 2011/2012 to report bullying and cyberbullying.
There are plenty more facts available online from a variety of resources dedicated to joining the fight against cyberbullying, but the above facts should be enough to recognize that cyberbullying is out of control. Explore the opportunities to combat cyberbullying that are available in your school, community and even in your home. And if there are no initiatives in your community, you could always be the first to lead the charge.
Here’s a must watch video on cyberbullying and its effects: PR Web Educational Video on Cyber Bullying and Sexting.