Bullying Facts – What Every Victim and Parent Needs to Know
The media and governments all over the world have recently been forced to turn their attention towards children, teens and bullying. Facts and statistics show that bullying (especially cyberbullying) is growing rampant among young children, teens and even adults. In recent events, bullying has led teens to end their lives – how did we get to this point? What has to change within our society to bring bullying to an end?
There are many who say we need to change the ways of our younger generation and how they view and cope with things and people that are different. In many ways, I agree with this; however, I feel that parents need to play a big part in putting a stop to bullying. Facts show that many parents even encourage their children to bully – they want their children to rule over other children to boost their confidence and self-esteem. While many will see this as a positive move, many children and teens are taking this even further and causing physical and emotional harm to other children.
You see, when you have more than one child or teen competing for that dominant position within their school or group, it comes to just this – a competition; not only competing to be the most dominant but also the most popular. The ones competing for dominance and popularity find it easier to “rule” over those that are weaker and much different than they are. This sends a message to others as “don’t mess with me or this is what I’ll do to you!”
Children and teens have this all wrong. This is definitely not how to prove your leadership skills and gain respect among your peers. In fact, over time, the exact opposite will happen. Your friends (who were only your friends because they feared you) will begin to exit your life and before you know it, you’re left completely on your own and secluded from everything you knew.
Parents need to teach their children to accept others as they are – being different is not a bad thing! Yes, being different may draw the attention of others– but it should in a more positive way. I’ve travelled to many countries where natives are very welcoming of outsiders and those who are “different”. They want to know what it’s like to be different and love to hear stories that are different. I feel that in the western world, this doesn’t happen in most cases – this needs to change.
Below are some bullying facts and bullying statistics that are quite concerning. Most are to do with cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying Facts (Courtesy of www.CoveantEyes.com):
- 32% of teens admit that they have been targets of a range of annoying or potentially menacing online threats. 15% of all teens say someone has sent a private message they’ve written, 13% say a person has spread a rumor online about them, 13% say someone has sent them a threatening or aggressive message, and 6% say someone has posted embarrassing pictures of them on the internet.
- 38% of online girls report being bullied, compared with 26% of online boys. In particular, 41% of older girls (15-17) report being bullied—more than any other age or gender group.
- 39% of social network users have been cyberbullied in some way, compared with 22% of online teens who do not use social networks.
- 20% of teens (12-17) say “people are mostly unkind” on online social networks. Younger teenage girls (12-13) are considerably more likely to say this. One in three (33%) younger teen girls who use social media say that people their age are “mostly unkind” to one another on social network sites.
- 15% of teens on social networks have experienced someone being mean or cruel to them on a social network site. There are no statistically significant differences by age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, or any other demographic characteristic.
- 13% of teens who use social media (12-17) say they have had an experience on a social network that made them feel nervous about going to school the next day. This is more common among younger teens (20%) than older teens (11%).
- 88% of social media-using teens say they have seen someone be mean or cruel to another person on a social network site. 12% of these say they witness this kind of behavior “frequently.”
- When teens see others being mean or cruel on social networks, frequently 55% see other people just ignoring what is going on, 27% see others defending the victim, 20% see others telling the offender to stop, and 19% see others join in on the harassment.
- 36% of teens who have witnessed others being cruel on social networks have looked to someone for advice about what to do.
- 67% of all teens say bullying and harassment happens more offline than online.
- 1 in 6 parents know their child has been bullied over social media. In over half of these cases, their child was a repeat victim. Over half of parents whose children have social media accounts are concerned about cyberbullying and more than three-quarters of parents have discussed the issue of online bullying with their children.
- 11% of middle school students were victims of cyberbullying in the past two months. Girls are more likely than boys to be victims or bully/victims.
- “Hyper-networking” teens (those who spend more than three hours per school day on online social networks) are 110% more likely to be a victim of cyberbullying, compared to those who don’t spend as much time on social networks.
Some of these bullying facts and statistics are quite alarming given the huge number of teens that spend their time online and on Social Media sites. While the process of changing the way our younger generation views those that are different will be a difficult one, we can still learn how to deal with bullying in the meantime.