Friday, 20 November 2009
NEWS FROM BEATBULLYING
VIRTUAL VIOLENCE OFFENDERS REVEALED
Beatbullying names and shames websites in landmark report on cyberbullying
November 16, 2009 – LEADING bullying prevention charity, Beatbullying today announces the true extent of cyberbullying among young people in the UK by publishing its definitive report, ‘Virtual Violence: Protecting Children from Cyberbullying’ . In particular, the report highlights the number of extreme cases where a young person is persistently and systematically cyberbullied, even receiving death threats online.
To launch Anti-Bullying Week (16-21 Nov) – whose theme this year is staying safe in cyberspace - Beatbullying is also revealing the websites where cyberbullying is most prevalent. Almost one in three (30%) of 11 to 16-year-olds who have been cyberbullied had experienced the problem on Bebo, earning the social networking site the nickname ‘Bullybo’ among many young people. A further 44.6% have witnessed bullying on the site.
MSN instant messenger is also exposed as 57.9% of cyberbullied young people said they have been bullied using the service. Further offenders are social networking sites Facebook (11.3%) and MySpace (10.3%), plus web builder Piczo (16.3%) where, in some cases, fake accounts and hate sites have been created. You Tube (15.5%) also suffered as footage of bullying incidents can be proliferated on the video sharing site.
In response to findings that 69% of young people who have been cyberbullied would take advice from their peers online, Beatbullying launched the world’s first peer mentoring social networking site CyberMentors (cybermentors.org.uk) in March 2009. Now children and young people concerned about any form of bullying can seek support and advice at a purpose-built site. Since its launch over 214,000 young people have accessed help from one of 1,900 trained CyberMentors, with at least 147,000 mentoring conversations taking place.
Beatbullying has previously shown that one in three young people have been a victim of cyberbullying, defined as where an individual is deliberately targeted, threatened or humiliated by an individual or group through the use of mobile phones or the internet.
The charity’s definitive report now reveals that as many as 340,000 – or 1 in 13 – children and teenagers in the UK (8.2%) are subject to persistent bullying via digital technology day in and day out, over a period of many months.
Beatbullying’s research of 11-18 year-olds also found that:
• 61.2% have witnessed some form of cyberbullying
• Seven out of ten (69.3%) knew the person who was cyberbullying them
• Almost a third (31.3%) of cyberbullying incidents began offline
• Two-thirds (61%) have seen or heard of fake profiles, hate sites or happy slapping material
• One in five (20.8%) have seen hate sites or groups set up to bully someone online
• Nearly one quarter (24.5%) have been sent a video clip or image of someone being bullied
• Girls are most likely to be cyberbullied, as well as cyberbully; 23.8% of girls have received an upsetting or offensive phone call compared to 12.2% of boys
Emma –Jane Cross, chief executive of Beatbullying, says: “We know the consequences of cyberbullying are just as traumatic as those of face-to-face bullying; in the past year alone, we’ve witnessed tragic suicides resulting from relentless online hate campaigns.
“Suicide is an extreme manifestation, but research already underway shows us that increased isolation, poor educational attainment and self-destructive behaviour all readily follow cyberbullying.
“We must all act together, and fast. Beatbullying’s CyberMentors empowers young people to help their peers deal with of all forms of bullying and with over 190,000 children seeking help in the first 9 months, it’s clear there is a real demand and need for this. It is imperative that CyberMentors receives the necessary funding to develop beyond a pilot project, and so help even more young people affected by bullying.
“Today I also urge social networking sites, internet service providers and mobile phone companies to take measures to identify and remove offensive material, making cyberbullying much more difficult for the perpetrators.
“The Government, schools, parents and charities will all play their role in overcoming cyberbullying; after all, it is a clear extension of the bullying we have seen in schools and communities for a very long time which is why Beatbullying’s programmes, like CyberMentors, address the root of the problem. If the culture can be changed to one where bullying is unacceptable, there will be no bullying on or off-line.”
The report also highlights the threat of cyberbullying to vulnerable groups of children:
• Pupils with Special Educational Needs are 16% more likely to be persistently cyber bullied over a prolonged period of time
• Pupils receiving Free School Meals are 13% more likely to be persistently cyber bullied over a prolonged period of time
• White non-British ethnic background all reported a higher incidence of this intense form of cyberbullying
Of CyberMentors’ regular users, 13.78% receive school meals and 5.74% have special educational needs. There are 40 adult volunteer counsellors on hand to help the young CyberMentors deal with severe issues if required.
For more information visit: cybermentors.org.uk | beatbullying.org | 0845 338 5073
Frank PR –|0207 693 6995
Beatbullying -| 0781 400 4963
NOTES TO EDITORS
Beatbullying is the UK’s leading bullying prevention charity. Founded in 1999, Beatbullying empowers young people to lead anti-bullying campaigns in their schools and local communities, and builds the capacity of local communities to sustain the work. Beatbullying has directly and indirectly worked with 700,000+ young people over the last seven years, assisting and supporting young people that are being bullied, re-educating and changing the behaviour of young people that bully and preventing bullying in schools and communities across the UK.
Cybermentors.org.uk is a safe, social networking site providing information and support for young people being bullied or cyber bullied. Young people, aged 11-25, are trained as CyberMentors, in schools and online, so that they can offer support to their peers. Encapsulated by cutting edge technology, it is a safe website where young people can turn to other young people for help and advice. CyberMentors are also supported by trained counsellors, available online if needed. CyberMentors is a Beatbullying project.
Virtual Violence: Protecting Children From Cyberbullying
Beatbullying delivered a comprehensive 32-question survey into secondary schools in several areas across England. Beatbullying worked directly with 2,094 young people, aged 11-18, who all responded to a questionnaire.