10% of children have attempted to take their own lives due to bullying
According to the Suicide Awareness Voices for Education, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for youth amount 15 to 24 year olds. Over 16% of students seriously consider suicide, 13% create a plan, and 8% have made a serious attempt.
We are all unique and that's what makes us special. But unfortunately, for kids, being unique can get them to be an easy target for cyber bullying. Kids can get teased for anything: being overweight, being too smart or not smart enough, being too tall or too short, having unusual hobbies or just simply because they don't fit in with the 'norm'.
With social media, kids openly "friend and follow" each other, in a desire to be popular and help gain self-esteem. As their networks become larger and larger, it also becomes more vulnerable.
Take for instance, a case of a teenage girl with low self-esteem who suddenly finds a friend request from a good looking teenage boy. Without a second thought, most teenagers would instantly "friend" them even though they have no idea who they are. They start communicating, the online relationship starts developing and before you know it they are emotionally involved.
The thing about online relationships is that cute 17-year old boy might actually be a 40-year old creeper down the street. Or perhaps he doesn't even exist, but was solely made up as a mean joke to make a young girl think that a cute boy was interested in her. And once those nice compliments change to cyber bullying, her self esteem gets crushed.
24% of students report that they don't know what to do if harassed online
This problem isn't getting any better either. The vast majority of today's youth (87%) have witnessed cyber bullying. And 30% of cyber bullying victims have turned to self-harming behaviors, which has increased by 6 percent from 2013.
The crazy thing is, sometimes it's not just the kids that are guilty of cyber bullying kids. Read Megan Meier's story to learn how one such parent posing as a teenage boy ultimately led to the suicide of a high school girl.
Cyber Bullying: How To Recognize
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Join our movement to help reduce cyber bullying, teen sexting, and teen dating violence. Learn about specific issues our youth faces in today's cyber-obsessed world and the steps required by both parents and teens on how to stay safe.