The Explosion of Online Bullying


Some very worrying numbers as a result of possibly the most difficult form of bullying to eliminate:

British children are suffering thanks to an epidemic of online bullying – with the number of calls to ChildLine from victims almost doubling in just one year.

In 2012/13, a total of 4,507 children – around 12 a day – rang the helpline to complain they were being abused by peers on social networking sites.

That is up a startling 87 per cent from the 2,410 calls the year before, with the head of the NSPCC revealing many were ringing in ‘utter panic’ after suffering months of ‘torment’.

Girls are three times more likely to call than boys and, worryingly, one in six calls are received from children aged 11 or younger.

The revelation follows the death of 14-year-old Hannah Smith, who hanged herself on Friday after months of abuse on the internet.

Her father said he had found bullying posts on his daughter’s page from people telling her to die.

She had been urged to ‘drink bleach’ by her anonymous tormentors and taunted over her weight, the death of an uncle and an apparent propensity to self-harm.The notorious website – described as a ‘stalker’s paradise’ – has been linked to at least four teenage deaths over the past year.

Now an analysis of calls received by ChildLine show that these victims are far from alone – and that cyberbullying is now one of the fastest growing issues young people contract them about.

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