America is suffering from a bullying epidemic. Bullies appear everywhere, from playgrounds to the hallway, in public restaurants and even online. The Internet has made it easy for bullies to harass and stalk their victims without suffering any repercussions. Once a bully gets into your head, it’s extremely difficult to get him/her out. Bullying victims become constantly on edge, even if the bully is not physically present. They might suffer from paranoia, depression and panic attacks. Bullying happens not only to children, but to people of all ages and different social backgrounds. One of the most disturbing bullying statistics in 2013 by Safe Work Australia (SWA) found out that Australia has the highest workplace bullying rates all over the world. The report also stated that Australian employers lost $8 billion a year due to absenteeism and sickness, of which $693 million were caused by workplace bullying.
Media attention in recent years has been brought to the global problem of bullying. However, lately there have been more opposing opinions to the widespread attention given to bullying. Nick Gillespie of Reasontv, states that since previous generations did not make a great deal of bullies, the current attention given to bullying is mere sensationalism and not something of real concern. Others believe that it’s a matter of shifting priorities. Many heinous crimes were tolerated in the past and thanks to activism and global social awareness, they are now condemned. Examples on such issues include slavery, homophobia and women’s suffrage.
Humans are aggressive by nature. Bullying probably started since the dawn of time. In the 18th century, bullying-related behaviors like peer-on-peer harassment were very common but not treated with the seriousness that it deserved. However, humans are not doomed to being bullied. We should learn how to behave respectfully with others rather than to react purely on instinct. Just as we can learn to be bullies, we can also learn not to be bullies and stand up for those who are bullied.
Current Bullying Statistics May Not Be Accurate
Bullying victims often feel all alone. They may not report their bullying because they feel that no one would believe them or do anything to help them, especially in cases of workplace bullying. According to a 2013 survey carried out by Trolled Nation, on behalf of Knowthenet. org, 37 percent of cyberbullying incidents go unreported. The survey involved 2,001 teenagers and revealed even more shocking bullying facts. The older a person gets, the less likely they are to report their abuses. Almost 85 percent of 19-year-old males have admitted to being victims of cyberbullying incidents without reporting them. NBC News reported alarming bullying statistics in 2013 concerning the elderly in America, where one in ten senior citizens were verbally or physically abused.
Bullying Statistics on the Rise
When examining these numbers, one would notice that recently, there has been an increase in the number of bullying cases reported or prosecuted. These numbers only show a fraction of the bullying problem in America. Studies often concentrate on a single town or state, or on a specific type of bullying, such as cyberbullying. There is no accurate, national picture of bullying all over the country.
However, if you have been bullied or know someone that has been bullied then you already know how bad the bullying problem is in America. According to a study by the JAMA Pediatrics Network in 2013, 80 percent of the youth who commit suicide do it due to peer victimization and bullying. Many of these teens are victims of cyberbullying or other conventional forms of bullying. These numbers will keep on rising unless bullies are reported, anti-bullying laws are initiated and criminal sanctions are declared. Bullying should not be an inevitable part of the human condition. Fortunately, there has been a rise in anti-bullying laws across the nation. The time has come to turn the tables on the bullies.
Bullying Statistics of Victims over the Years
When you hear about the annual rise of incidents in bullying statistics, you would often wonder about the victims and how this behavior has negatively affected them. Reading about the various bullying statistics and meeting some of the victims both online and in person, can open your eyes to the true magnitude of bullying. Some of the numbers show:
- At least 52 percent of teens have been bullied online according to the iSafe Foundation (2014).
- In a study conducted by the Cyberbullying Research Center in 2014, about 10 to 20 percent of young teens confessed to being bullied on a regular basis.
- One-million children on Facebook alone were harassed in 2011 as reported by Consumer Reports.
- DoSomething.org suggests that 90 percent of children in grades 4 through 8 have been bullied at some point.
- iSafe Foundation reports that 35% of children have actually been threatened online, some more than once.
The Bully Statistics
On the other side of the spectrum, there are shocking statistics about the number of bullies that exist online and in real life. While it can sometimes be difficult to determine the identity of bullies and what their motives are, it is important to know how prevalent they are so you can teach your children to be careful and watch out for them. The problem with collecting information on bullies is that it is a far more difficult task due to bullying victims’ fear of telling on their tormentors.
- According to the Teen Online & Wireless Safety Survey conducted in 2009, 34 percent of those who participated in cyberbullying did so both as victims and as bullies.
- About 53 percent of children have said something that was mean or hurtful to someone else online according to iSafe Foundation.
- American schools harbor at least 2.1 million bullies (Dan Olweus, National School Safety Center).
Social Media and Bullying Statistics over the Years
Social media is one of the leading places in which children today experience bullying.
- According to the Pew Internet Research Center in 2011, 9 out of 10 teenagers have witnessed cyberbullying while they were using social media.
- In 2014, according to the annual report released by Ditch the Label, this number declined to 7 in 10 cyber bullied teens.
- 54 percent of the above number were bullied on Facebook alone.
- 84 percent of social media users have seen someone defend the victim or ask the harasser to stop.
- However, 90 percent of those who witnessed bullying on their social media sites have also ignored the behavior at some point.
This shows that most of the time teens are comfortable standing up to bullying, showcasing positive behavior and solidarity.
Parental Involvement in Bullying Statistics over the Years
In many cases, it is up to the parents to teach their children about cyber safety and how to fight against cyber bullies. However, even though parents work hard to help their children learn to navigate cyberspace safely, the Internet could still be a very dangerous place. Parents should be particularly aware of these statistics about bullying:
- More than 50% of children who have been bullied online do not report the behavior to their parents, leaving their parents with no idea regarding this behavior (McAfee Online Safety for Kids programme, 2013).
- A 2011 Pew Internet and American Life Survey revealed only about 7% of parents are concerned about cyberbullying in general.
- The American Osteopathic Association reports that 52 percent of parents are concerned with bullying on social media sites. However, only 1 in 6 parents are familiar with this behavior in regards to their children.
- About 10 percent of teens report bullying online to their parents according to the Hartford County Examiner.
- Only 1/5 of those instances are reported to law enforcement officials.
Reasons for Bullying
Understanding the motives behind bullying behavior can help parents and teachers teach children how to refrain from doing so. The more information parents, teachers and school administrators have, the fewer bullying incidents will occur. Thankfully, there is an increase in the number of bullying statistics that reveal why children become bullies online and in real life.
According to the 2009 survey by the Teen Online & Wireless Safety, the most common reasons for bullying include:
- 11% show off for their friends.
- 14% want to be mean.
- 21% are out to embarrass the victim.
- 28% use it for entertainment.
- 58% are trying to get back at the victim for various reasons.
- 58% feel the victim deserves it.
- 16% have other reasons.
Why Does Bullying Occur Online?
Bullying has been an issue for many years so why is it more common today in its online form? There are many reasons why cyberbullying has become a popular way for children to attack their peers verbally and emotionally. Even though many children and teens use the Internet safely and responsibly, there are still many who twist this interweb of information for malicious reasons. Understanding why cyberbullying occurs will help you estimate the severity of the damage and how to prevent it.
Bullying statistics reveal that:
- About 80 percent of teens use cell phones, particularly smartphones, on a regular basis.
- By the end of 2014, the number of Internet users has reached 3 billion.
- The Teen Online & Wireless Safety Survey in 2009 revealed that 81 percent of children and teens think cyberbullying is safer than real life bullying in terms of avoiding the consequences.
- The same survey shows that 80 percent of youth feel that anonymity provides a more habitable environment for bullying and harassment.
School Violence Is also a Prevalent Part of Bullying Statistics
- In 2014, 27.8% of high school students were bullied at school, and 33% reported being involved in a physical fight in the last year.
- In one month, nearly 6 percent of high schoolers stayed home because they felt unsafe at or on their way to school.
- More than 7 percent of 9th through 12th graders reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property at least once in the last year. An additional 6 percent admitted to bringing a weapon to school for protection.
- According to the report published by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and US Department of Education in 2014, 70.6 percent of young students have seen bullying at school with approximately 30 percent of them admitting to bullying others in the surveys.
More bullying statistics reveal alarming numbers; the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) mentioned that the School Crime Supplement asked students ages 12–18 who reported being bullied at school to indicate the location where they had been victimized. In 2011, of students who reported being bullied, about 46 percent of students reported that the bullying occurred in the hallway or the stairwell during the school year (figure 11.2 and table 11.2).
- 33 percent reported being bullied inside the classroom, and 22 percent reported being bullied outside on school grounds.
- 11 percent reported being bullied in the bathroom or locker room, 9 percent reported being bullied in the cafeteria, 7 percent reported being bullied on the school bus, and 2 percent reported being bullied somewhere else in school.
- For the most part, the percentages of students who reported being bullied in various locations at school did not vary from student to student or from school to school.
Thankfully, as many as 68 percent of teens realize that cyber bullying is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Even though many of them are hesitant to stand up to bullies, with the right encouragement and education, this situation might change. Using guidance from parents and teachers, it would be easier for these children and teens to really make a difference and reduce the amount of bullying that takes place, both online and in real life.
You must realize that the effect of bullying doesn’t end with the incident. Science Daily reports that bullying can affect a child’s health on the short and long term:
“Researchers found that bullying at any age was associated with worse mental and physical health, increased depressive symptoms and lower self-worth. Participants who experienced chronic bullying also reported increased difficulties in physical activities like walking, running or participating in sports. Those who experienced bullying in the past and were also experiencing bullying in the present showed the lowest health scores.”
The report followed a group of 4,297 children and adolescents from fifth to tenth grade in the U.S. Researchers periodically interviewed them about their mental and physical health and their experience(s) with bullying. Another study led by researchers from the University of Warwick showed that being bullied at third grade can cause enough distress to significantly increase the risk of self-harming in later adolescence. Almost 5,000 participants in this study were assessed for exposure to bullying between seven and ten years of age and later asked whether they had engaged in self-harm at sixteen to seventeen years.
Bullying Statistics 2014
Bullying is a global problem that requires an immediate call-to-action.
- According to the Center for Disease Control in 2014, 6 percent of high school students reported being bullied during the school year and 14.8 percent reported being bullied online.
- Bullying causes physical and psychological symptoms that last with the victim even long after the bullying terminates. These complications include headaches, digestive problems, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and poor performance at school (Center for Disease Control, 2012).
- School bullying prevention programs are known to decrease bullying in schools up to 25 percent.
- About 19.6 percent of high school students in the U.S. report to being bullied in the past year according to the Center for Disease Control in 2014.
- Half of all high school students admitted to bullying someone in the past year.
- When an adult intervenes in a bullying incident, it stops within 10 seconds or more about 57 percent of the time. This is why standing up to bullying is the major step in bullying prevention programs.
There are many different types of bullying. According to Hertz, Donato and Wright there is a strong correlation between bullying and suicide related behaviors. The relationship is often influenced by factors like depression and delinquency. Those who were bullied in their childhood or early teens were more likely to contemplate suicide and even attempt it.
Bullying has many forms. There is verbal, social, physical, and cyber bullying. Middle school students report being exposed to different forms of bullying during their school years. Through some recently published research papers, a group of interesting bullying statistics emerged:
- About 44.2 percent of middle school students have experienced teasing and name calling.
- Over 36.3 percent have had rumors and lies spread about them verbally or online.
- 32.4 percent reported being hit, shoved, pushed and kicked by peers.
- 29.2 percent experienced slapping and other forms of physical violence.
- About 27.4 percent of middle school students have been threatened by peers and classmates or had their belongings stolen.
- Over 23.7 percent reported being exposed to sexual comments and gestures.
Bullying takes place on school grounds and often on the bus. It can also occur online. Cyber bullying occurs via cell phones, social networks, forums, and email.
- According to a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in 2014, 29.3 percent of middle school students reported being bullied in classrooms, 29 percent in the hallways or near lockers, while 23.4 percent were in the cafeteria.
- Other locations included 19.5 percent in the gym or during PE class, 12.2 percent in the bathroom with only 6.2 percent in the playground or during recess.
- This study shows that bullying occurs mainly in places where children gather to study, play or hang out. Only between 20 to 30 percent of students that are bullied tell an adult or a teacher about the incident.
Cyber bullying statistics could take books to write them all down. It varies according to gender-based cyber bullying or if we are talking about the LGBT community. Adolescent girls are more likely to be victims of cyber bullying than boys. Cyber bullying statistics also rely on analyzing the causes of this phenomenon. Real life bullying and cyber bullying are both believed to be linked to homicides, suicides, sexual violence and even murder. According to report by the The National Council on Crime Prevention, 81 percent of youths said they believed people cyber bully because they think it is funny.
- Over 37 percent of students have been cyber bullied frequently (Annual Bullying Survey, 2013).
- Each day about 160,000 students miss school because of bullying or their fear of being bullied.
- Adult intervention is often 4 percent, peer or classmate intervention is 11 percent and sadly there is no intervention 85 percent of the times someone is bullied. This means that it is more common for bullying incidents to be ignored than to be dealt with immediately.
- According the Annual Cyber Bullying Statistics Report by Ditch the Label in 2014, 20 percent of young people experience cyber bullying on a daily basis.
- Cyber bullying was found to have catastrophic effects on the lives of up to 70 percent of young people globally.
- Almost 47 percent of British parents are concerned about their children’s safety online.
- Shockingly, 65 percent of children go online without any parental supervision.
- Concerning reactions to cyber bullying, about 15 percent of teens believed people who would be hurt by their mean comments to be “over-sensitive” while 24 percent perceived their online comments to be “anything but cruel”.
Knowing the most recent cyber bullying statistics helps parents and teachers recognize the signs and symptoms of bullying. Knowing the different forms of bullying helps adults formulate a plan to put an end to it.
- Verbal bullying occurs when kids call each other names, tease, or play mean pranks on each others.
- Physical bullying is hitting, shoving, kicking, slapping and spitting at another person.
- Social emotional bullying happens when a child is left out of of school activities or online discussion groups and boards.
- Cyber bullying is the act of using a mobile phone or the Internet to do harm to others. This can involve sending someone nasty emails or photos, posting mean comments about someone on social networks or even taking suggestive photos with your cell phone camera and texting them to different people, with the intention of humiliating a certain person.
The effects of bullying are catastrophic problems for children, teens, college students and their families. Many children suffer disturbed eating and sleeping habits as well as poor performance in school. Many kids that are bullied skip school, struggle with schoolwork or drop out. These are just the minimal side effects of bullying.
Knowing all about recent bullying statistics does not stop or resolve the problem that many boys and girls face every day at school or online. This problem affects all groups regardless their race, sex, gender, religion, or nationality. In most statistics, it is evident that bullied individuals are mostly the minorities in every society (e.g. the handicapped and LGBT youth).
Cyber Stalking and Workplace Bullying statistics 2014
While there are some cyber stalking statistics that can give a general idea on how stalking typically looks like, anyone who knows how to use a computer can stalk, and anyone who has an online presence can be stalked. Most of the time, the stalker knows their victim offline as well. However, it is becoming more and more popular for online stalkers to be online “friends only.”
Here are a few interesting cyber stalking statistics:
- 24 percent of stalkers were ex lovers while 19 percent were online acquaintances.
- In 2013, cyber stalking was most often via emails (30 percent) and Facebook (30 percent), on a less familiar level came Twitter (3 percent) then YouTube (1 percent).
- Only 25 percent of the cyber stalking cases had also received threats offline.
- The average duration of stalking can last up to 2 years. This could take longer in case of stalkers who had been intimate partners with the victim.
- Cyber stalking in America originates most often along the East Coast, and in the following states: Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts and Illinois.
Two important facts that experts mention when discussing cyberstalking are:
- Cyber stalkers can be anybody: a parent, a husband, a sibling or a friend.
- Cyber stalking can happen to anybody.
Several studies and cyber bullying statistics have been done to determine the different cyber stalking patterns.
- In the US, one million women and 370,000 men are stalked every year.
- Victims of cyber stalking tend to be females between the ages of 18-29.
- In 2014 alone, 9.3 million Americans were victims of identity theft.
- ِA survey by the University of Pennsylvania found out that 45 percent of cyber stalkers were females while 56 percent were males.
- According to another study they did at a university, the figure may be closer among college students at 45% female and 56% male.
In case of workplace bullying, which has been increasing at an alarming rate, here are a few bullying statistics to keep you updated.
According to the Workplace Bullying Survey done by the Workplace Bullying Institute in February 2014:
- At their work , 27 percent of employees have directly experienced abusive conduct with 21 percent who witnessed it.
- 69 percent of workplace bullies are men with 60 percent bullying victims being women. What makes it worse is that women bullies pick on other women 68 percent of the time.
- Workplace bullying statistics ranked the highest with Hispanic employees (56.9 percent) followed by African Americans (54.1 percent) and lastly Asians (52.8 percent).
- 56 percent of bullies are bosses.
- Less than 20 percent of American employers take action to stop workplace bullying.
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