There is a strong link between bullying and suicides. In the last few years a string of suicides in the United States and around the world has called attention to this problem. This article looks at suicides in relation to both physical bullying and cyber bullying. Learn about Bullying Suicide Statistics.
Many parents view bullying as simply a part of growing up. Often they do not realize the devastating effects. It can easily escalate from one or two incidents, and becomes a regular problem. soon it is a steady barrage of demeaning incidents on a regular occasion. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 10 to 34 year olds, according to the Center for Disease Control. It was the cause of about 6,078 deaths in a year in the 15 to 24 age group.
Bullied victims are 7 to 9 per cent more likely to consider suicide according to a study by Yale University. Studies in Britain have found half of the suicides among youth related to bullying. According to a study by ABC News over 30,000 children stay home every day due to the fear of being bullied. Bullying can be related to physical, emotional, cyber bullying, and sexting, i.e. circulating nude or suggestive pictures or messages about of a person.
The Urban Institute’s study on bullying showed 17 per cent of students reported being victims of cyber bullying, 41 per cent victims of physical bullying, and 15 per cent experienced different kinds. The types and rates of bullying varied according to gender in this study. About 50 per cent of girls experienced psychological bullying, and 45 per cent males physical bullying.
The Center For Disease Control reported that students that experience bullying are twice as likely to suffer from various problems. These include depression, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and trouble adjusting to school. They are twice as likely to get stomach-aches and headaches.
The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that in 2014 1 of 3 students reported being bullied during the school year. In the National Crime Victimization Survey of 2014 about 64.5 per cent reported incidents that occurred twice in the year. About 18.5 per cent reported incidents reported bullying twice a month, and 7.8 per cent reported bullying being bullied daily.
According to another study, by J. Anderson, Many students reported bullying that involved being made fun of and called names. Other methods of bullying were having rumours spread about them, threating the person with bodily harm, being pushed or shoved, and spit on. Others students had their belongings stolen or destroyed and were excluded from the groups on purpose. Bullying often produces depression, lowers self-esteem, and produces a mentality of helplessness in victims.
According to the Suicide Awareness Voices for Education, suicide is, among 15 to 24 years olds, one of the leading causes of death for youth. Over 16 per cent of students seriously consider suicide, 13 per cent create a plan, and 8 per cent have made a serious attempt.
About 80 per cent of youth that commits suicide have depressive symptoms. Peer victimizations and bullying causes higher rates of suicide among youth according to the JAMA Paediatrics. Cyber bullying leads to thoughts of suicide more than traditional bullying. Many students are bullied and engage in bullying behaviour.
A young male from Ireland named Joshua Unsworth hanged himself after frequent cyber bullying on a social network that he belonged to. He was teased about his father being a farmer and peers made fun of his dating habits. This constant barrage of bullying lead to depression and suicide.
On January 12, 2012 Amanda Diane Cummings, a 15 year old Staten Island youth, jumped in front of a bus. She carried a note on her that stated that classmates were constantly teasing her and stole her personal possessions. While she recovered in the hospital classmates posted cruel comments on her Facebook page. Bullying is not considered a serious crime by many. Kids that report incidents are told to toughen up or fight back. Sometimes authorities tell children no one likes a tattletale, so they do not get the help they need.
Audrie Pott was attacked sexually at a party she attended by three boys. Photos were taken of the incident and posted online. She was at a sleepover and alcohol was involved. The girl hunged herself about 8 days after the incident. The Photos were shared with classmates from Saratoga High School. She did not tell anyone about the attack or the incident. Her parents did not know about it until after her death.
A 15 year old Connecticut boy, Bart Palosz, took his life by shooting himself. His death is linked with many years of bullying at school and on social networks. He was a quiet boy that related better to adults than his peers. He was 6 feet 3 inches tall and had a Polish accent, which making him a target for bullying. Incidents include boys in town calling him names, pushing him into bushes, and destroying his cell phone.
He did not fight back or tell any adult about the bullying .The boy met with a guidance counsellor several times but told the woman everything was fine. Although his parents claim they asked the school for help, nothing was done. He also posted comments about suicide on social media recently a sign of trouble.
Another girl Cynthie Sanchez killed herself after years of peer bullying and cyber bullying. Sometimes kids just called her name but online they told her to kill herself. She suffered from depression, which is believed to have contributed to her to her suicide. She was only 14 years old.
These are a few of the many cases that show bullying contributing to suicide in youth.
Cyber Bullying and Suicide
Cyber bullying is another form of bullying that is more prevalent due increased access to cell phones and the Internet. About 42 per cent of youth report being bullied online. Approximately 69 per cent of teens own their own computer, cell phone, and use social media.
An average teen often sends 60 text messages a day. These are around double the rates for adults. Girls in the age group of 14 to 16 years old text often send 100 messages a day. Over 7.5 million Facebook users are under 13 years old. Over 81 per cent of teens admit that bullying is easier to get away with online. About 20 per cent of kids that are cyber bullied think about suicide.
The Hartford County Examiner reports that 1 to 10 kids that are cyber bullied do not tell their parents. Only 1 of 5 cyber bullying incidents is reported to authorities. The Cyberbullying Research Center reported that mean comments and spreading rumours are the most common type of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying victims often have low self esteem and are likely to consider suicide.
According to the American Association of Suicidology rates for suicide among 10 to 14 year olds has grown 50 per cent over the last three decades. Parents and educators should know the signs of youth and teens at risk for suicide. This can help save lives. Looking at bullying and statistics often helps adults learn to see the problem before it become serious.
Signs of Depression in Youth And Suicide
- Talking or joking about committing suicide with friends or family and on social media.
- Writing poems or stories about death, dying and suicide primarily.
- Engaging in reckless behaviour that results in accidents or giving away prized possessions.
- Talking about ways to kill themselves using pills, or weapons.
- An outgoing person that withdraws from family and friends is a sign.
- A good student whose grades plummet and they lose interest in learning is a sign of depression.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Frequent nightmares.
- Change in eating habits.
- Weight loss or extreme weight gain.
Parents and teachers should watch students and note incidents of bullying on the playground, cafeteria or in the neighbourhood. Talk to kids about suicide, and tell them it is not the way to solve problems. It is wrong and should not ever be attempted.
Encourage kids to tell an adult or teacher so that they can get help. When a child is depressed and does not seem to be getting any better get them help. Talk with your doctor who may be able to recommend psychiatric help. Bullying suicide statistics are just a sign that adults need to be more involved with their kids. In this way, tragedies can be prevented and kids can be saved.
Please help us combat bullying in all its forms by carrying on the discussion. A fact-driven awareness is vital to progressing this cause. You can comment below or share this on social media.