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School yard bullying has always been a problem. With more children are active in online social web sites naturally bullying has progressed and transferred into cyber bullying. Keep reading for cyber bullying statistics and how to protect against cyber bullying.
One of the growing trends in the online world is cyber bullying. As children, preteens and teenagers become more active online and through social media Web sites and channels, it is no surprise that bullying is emerging. Bullying has been going on in “real world” playgrounds for decades, and now it is moving to the playgrounds of the virtual world. However, even though cyber bullying takes place online in a world that isn’t “real”, the consequences - emotional and physical - can be real. Emotionally, cyber bullying can be scarring, since it involves threats and humiliation. In the physical realm, cyber bullying has in some cases moved into the “real world”, with the harassment continuing offline. There have been reports of beatings, murders and suicides in connection with cyber bullying.
It is important to note that cyber bullying occurs between minors. Harassment by an adult toward a teenager online is a different matter, usually predation. Cyber bullying is not limited to the Internet. It includes the use of any digital technology (including cell phone texting) by a minor or group of minors to embarrass, torment, threaten, harass, or target another minor. This can leave scars, since online “friends” - as well as offline friends - can see the abuse. Children, preteens and teenagers are already sensitive about their identities, and cyber bullying can be as real a blow as bullying that takes place in the physical world.
Cyber bullying stats
Parents should be aware that cyber bullying has increased over time, and that it becomes more prevalent as children move into their teenage years. The i-SAFE survey offers statistics that illustrate how prevalent cyber bullying has become amongst those in the 4th through 8th grades:
It is assumed that these numbers also apply to those in 9th through 12th grade, since these students have more access to the Internet. Also disturbing is the fact that 58 percent of those who are faced with cyber bullying do not tell a parent or other trusted adult when these incidents occur online. Kids are seeing these problems, but they don’t know what to do about it.
Protecting against cyber bullying
It is important to do what you can to protect your children against cyber bullying. If the incident is school related, there is some recourse there. Criminal law with regard to cyber bullying is still being worked out. However, if it occurs regularly, it is often possible to address the situation - provided you know who is at the other end. Encourage your children to take the following actions if they are faced with a cyber bully:
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