Cyber Bullying Statistics New Zealand
Many individuals have often used their computer, laptops and mobile communication equipment to conduct their businesses and engage in other means of communication within the confines of the existing laws. Some other people may use such communication devices to insult other people by engaging in abusive and denigrating behavior often classified as cyber bullying. As these new communication devices are introduced societies often fail to figure out ways to curtail abuses of these emerging technologies until it is too late.
The link between new technology usage and new social problems
Technological innovation is great. It is a good to invent new technological knowhow for one thing; these devices do simplify life for many people. Unfortunately many countries tend to ignore some of the problems arising from wide scale use of these new technologies. The point here is that countries must also endeavor to update their existing laws to address some of the new situations and excesses resulting from the introduction of new technologies.
Evolution of Cyber bullying New Zealand Statistics
No one would have thought about cyber bullying about 3 or 4 decades ago. But the wide scale introduction and usage of Computers, laptops I-phones, I-pads, cell phones and other electronic communication devices have ushered in new era and the birth of new social issues and problems in society. Often societies are slow to figure out ways to address the new technologically created social problems until those issues lead to bigger societal problems. The issue of cyber bullying is one typical example. It is causing many other related problems in New Zealand and other countries.
Cyber bullying is the latest technique for bullying. The first order of business is to define this concept of cyber bullying for clarity purposes, so as to facilitate better understanding of this article. It is also appropriate to define the concept of bullying from which cyber bullying originated from. Bullying and cyber bulling mean basically the same thing, the only difference here is the methods used in the bullying behavior.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is an act of aggression, an unwelcome and deviant behavior which tends to intimidate and undermine the rights of the bullied person. Bullying could also lead to other forms of physical violence and attacks. It is mostly common among younger people and often carried out within school compounds or community neighborhoods and other places. Bullying as well as Cyber bullying can take its toll when such act is repeated and directed to the same person on a continuing basis. It can produce many physical and psychological harmful results on the bullied individual. Let us now define Cyber bullying which is one of the latest forms and methods of bullying people. Cyber bullying is a byproduct of the broader concept of bullying.
Definition of Cyber Bullying Facts and Statistics
Cyber bullying is an act of bullying itself carried out through the means of internet or other forms of mobile communications. Cyber bullying produces similar harmful effects on the bullied individual so we should not think that because it is carried out by means of a communication devices, that it is not as serious or harmful as other forms of bullying. The truth of the matter is that cyber bullying is as harmful as other bullying methods as will be shown through this article. Through this discussion the author hopes greater awareness would be created in the public domain for the issue of cyber bullying. Through such awareness one also hopes that people would find ways to avoid bullying others through the use of their computers or mobile communication devices.
Cyber Bullying in New Zealand
The problem of cyber bullying in New Zealand poses a serious concern to many law enforcement agencies in the country to the point that new laws are being considered and passed against it in New Zealand. Judge Neil MacLean a Chief Coroner has thrown his efforts towards enacting new legislation and laws to crack down on cyber bullying in New Zealand. According to Judge MacLean, cyber bullying through mobile communication devices and social media sites such as Facebook has been described as a background factor in the growing problem of youth suicide in New Zealand. MacLean was quoted by the New Zealand Herald when he said, “We know it’s certainly a risk factor for suicide, and we know that adolescents often talk about interpersonal problems when investigators are looking into not necessarily completed suicides but self-harm.”
Law Commission proposals against Cyber bullying in New Zealand
The problem of cyber bullying in New Zealand has received attention of law enforcement agencies in the country to the point that new laws and proposals are being considered against cyber bullying in the country. According to New Zealand Herald, the Law Commission has proposals to create new laws against incitement to suicide. The same proposal will also address instances of malicious impersonations as well as unauthorized publication of intimate photos without the consent of all persons in the photograph. Other proposals being considered by the Law Commission is for amendments to be made to the existing laws on Harassment, Telecommunications and Human Rights Acts to also apply to all internet-based sexual harassment cases such as cyber bullying. New Zealand is obviously taking cyber bullying offences very seriously in light of the possible links between such offence and youth suicide which is a very serious problem for the country.
Bullying and Cyber bullying Statistics in New Zealand
As stated earlier cyber bullying is a serious issue in New Zealand. Many studies recently conducted on the subject, all point to the seriousness of bullying in all forms in New Zealand. One survey conducted in 35 different countries also supports this conclusion. This particular study surveyed 9 year olds in 35 countries and reached a conclusion that New Zealand has the second highest cases of school bullying in the world. New Zealand also has the world’s highest rate of suicide among young males from 15 to 24 years of age according to article published in the New Zealand Herald. Additionally New Zealand has the second highest level of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 24. These alarming statistics support the recent initiatives in New Zealand to address cases of cyber bullying and other forms of bullying in the country.
Other Bullying and Cyber bullying statistics in new Zealand
One longer term study on cyber bullying statistics in New Zealand surveyed 1,265 persons who were born in Christchurch in 1977. The study reached a conclusion that all the younger people who were bullied as well as those who bullied them were three times likely to attempt to commit suicide before they reach the age of 30 years. These facts although don’t fully explain the high rate of suicide among younger people in New Zealand, but it does give some hints regarding this issue. The latest data from the New Zealand Health Ministry nonetheless shows that suicide rate among young people may have reached its peak from 29 suicides for 100,000 teenagers recorded in 1995 to 18 suicide deaths per 100,000 recorded in 2009.
Other forms of Cyber Bullying
Text bullying is another form of cyber bullying which is done through the means of mobile communication devices such as cell phones. It is also new concept to New Zealand and this behavior has its dangers as well because it offers bullies opportunities to carry out their bullying activities nonstop 24 hours a day. It can also take its toll on the bullied individual. Through text messages, bullying messages are sent to any one being targeted. Bullying text messages could take the form of embarrassment, mean, untrue and in some cases may have some harmful consequences to the person being bullied. Because most kids have access to text phones when they get into Middle School, text bullying often starts from Middle school due to access to cell phones by many students.
Text bullying is just as bad and dangerous as other cyber bullying techniques and in some cases may even be more damaging due to the following reasons;
- Could happen nonstop 24 hrs a day
- More meaner messages being sent
- Could be coming from unknown persons
- Could be done from other phones to hide the sender’s true identity
- Could result is a much meaner response unknowingly creating more bullies
- May also involve sexting as well
From this discussion we can easily see that text bullying can also produce very serious harmful effects on the bullied persons. It remains unclear how such forms of bullying could be controlled. Although it may be problematic to control because of the constitutional guarantee of the freedom of speech and the press in New Zealand, one wonders nonetheless, if such illegal attacks by means of mobile communication devices should be afforded constitutional protection as a form of free speech.
These new forms of cyber bullying behavior obviously need more legal discussions to clarify some of the legal issues inherent within these emerging technologies. Such discussion can also help address the central question of to what extent could individuals stretch the usage of their mobile communication devices before it crosses the line and interferes with the rights of others.
Negative Repercussions on Text bullying victims
Text bullying can also produce all the negative repercussions associated with all forms of bullying including the following;
Depression– Victims of text bullying can have signs of depression resulting from such bullying.
Anxiety-They often show anxiety related problems as well
Social Withdrawal- This is a very common condition with all victims of bullying. They generally tend to withdraw from all forms of social activities and engagements.
Violence- In some instances a victim of text bullying can react by violent means in response to the text bully if they know who they are.
Suicide– In extreme cases text bullying can directly or indirectly set a chain of actions and reactions which may lead to suicide.
So these newer forms of bullying can produce similar harmful effects as the ones produced by traditional bullying techniques. The truth of the natter is that all efforts must be made to tackle this problem from all fronts. Education and therapy could help in many cases to deal with this problem.
Bullies may also suffer from their bullying behavior according to experts, so it is a bad situation for everyone involved. The other issue is that text bullying could be more easily documented since such act was transmitted by means of an electronic communications system. With many communities joining hands to fight the bullying problem there is more awareness in New Zealand and other places about the cyber bullying problem. Cyber bullies could face legal action from those they bully.
This article discussed among other things, statistics about cyber bullying in New Zealand. It has been shown through this discussion that cyber bullying problem is a real and poses many serious problems for many families in New Zealand. New Zealand has made limited progress in creating public awareness for the problem of cyber bullying and its harmful repercussions on the bullied person. Nevertheless much work remains to be done to bring more attention to this problem from a national perspective. Through this discussion it is hoped that more awareness would be created leading to more action from authorities in New Zealand to curb instances of cyber bullying in the country.