Research by the Kids Helpline has revealed 50 percent of young people surveyed about cyberbullying who had been bullied, had also bullied others.
This has been described as a game changer in the bullying and cyber bullying space.
Last week Kids Helpline put out the call to children and young people across Australia to hear what they had to say about cyberbullying. Of the 395 young people who have responded to the survey so far, 58 per cent disclosed they have been cyberbullied.
“Many of the young people engaging in cyber bullying also said they did this in an attempt to seek justice for the abuses they had received,” explained Kids Helpline’s Head of Strategy and Research John Dalgleish.
“This suggests cyberbullying takes place because of breakdowns in peer relationships. It also highlights that education is exceptionally important to give our kids the skills to develop and maintain respectful peer relationships and learn legitimate pathways to achieve meaningful conflict resolution,” he added.
Of those that were cyberbullied 58 per cent reported experiencing cyberbullying weekly or more frequently. Name calling, rumours and exclusion were the most commonly reported forms of cyberbullying.
Another important finding was that 85 per cent of those bullied knew their cyberbully and that 61 per cent of those bullied were also bullied in person proving that removing technology from children’s lives does not mean bullying will stop, indicating that:
It’s not the device but the behaviour of the user that’s the issue.
Encouragingly, 79 per cent of young people had told someone about being cyberbullied with friends (56 per cent), and parents and carers (43 per cent) the most common confidants.
“This demonstrates how important it is that we encourage and support parents and carers to have conversations with their children.”
Kids Helpline will keep its Cyberbullying Survey for children and young people (aged 5 to 25) open until Friday, February 23. Children and young people can share their views on cyberbullying at www.kidshelpline.com.au