cyberbullying facts uk
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Members of the online generation, especially kids and teenagers, are hooked on the internet. 

And for a good reason: 

It opens up a vista of knowledge, entertainment, homework help, social networking, gaming, and many other fun activities. 

This generation is a firm believer in the positive impact of AI, and there’s a thin divide between youngsters’ real and reel lives. Just as the perks of digital lives can impact the real lives of these users, the risks of cyberspace can also seep into their day-to-day lives.

The thing is: 

Cyberbullying statistics for the UK have revealed with startling clarity the widespread nature of online bullying. Kids using the internet are prone to online harassment at least once in their lives. 

It gets worse:

Statistics also suggest the far-reaching effects of cyberbullying – mental health issues, insecurity, suicides. 

This is the stumbling block of the digital space. And at Mark in Style, we’re here to probe into it with the help of the latest cyberbullying stats. 

Deeply Concerning Cyber Bullying Facts UK (Editor’s Choice)

  • Out of 12,2387 UK students, 27% identified their bullying experiences as cyberbullying in 2021, online bullying facts confirm. 
  • 19% of victims said that cyberbullying in UK schools happened entirely during school hours.
  • Swearing and offensive messages were the top forms of cyberbullying in 2020
  • In 2017, Childline received 24,000 cyberbullying complaints. 
  • Appearances (47%), interests (30%), and clothing choices (17%) are the three main reasons for cyberbullying. 
  • A 2017 survey of 1000 students found that 82% of bullying happens in schools. 
  • 91% of cyberbullying victims in Scotland reported knowing the bullies. 
  • 39% of cyberbullying victims kept quiet about it because they were embarrassed, and 38% were scared it would get worse. 

General Bullying Statistics UK

1. Cyberbullying statistics for the UK from 2021 state that in a survey of 12,387 students, 27% specified their bullying experiences as cyberbullying. 

(Ditch the Label)

Furthermore, nearly one in five (19%) children aged 10-15 in the UK experience cyberbullying, equating to approximately 764,000 children. 77% of those who were bullied said it had an adverse effect on mental health.

2. Bullying facts and statistics for the UK from the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales revealed that 19% of children between 10 and 15 years experienced cyberbullying in 2019. 

(Office for National Statistics)

The study explains that 17% of males (366 respondents) and 20% of females (399 respondents) were cyberbullying victims in 2019

Let’s take a closer look at another demographic – ethnic groups of the victims: 

3. 21% of whites were victims of cyberbullying, compared to 19% of mixed-race children. 

(Office for National Statistics)

Additionally, 18% of Blacks and 6% of Asians also experienced cyberbullying. Could their bullying be aimed at disabilities or terminal illnesses? There’s demographic studying that too:

26% of the victims either had a disability or a lifelong disease, while 18% didn’t have either. 

4. Cyberbullying statistics for the UK from 2020 investigated the most rampant forms of bullying and listed swearing and malicious messages as the top forms. 

(Office for National Statistics)

Take a look at the forms of online bullying behaviour that UK kids between the ages of 10 and 15 faced:

  • Calling names/swearing/humiliation – 10%
  • Messages with malicious intent – 10%
  • Exclusion from a group or activity – 6%
  • Rumours – 5%
  • Online threats – 2%

Let’s review the online tools used to perpetrate such behaviour:

  • Calling names/swearing/humiliation – 61% through messages and media
  • Messages with malicious intent – 21% through chatrooms
  • Exclusion from a group or activity – 50% through messages 
  • Rumours – 49% through messages

5. A study on cyberbullying in the UK suggested that almost a quarter of British students were bullied a few times a month.

(The Guardian)

More than 14% said they were bullied frequently, making the UK the fourth-worst affected of the 34 countries surveyed.

Cyberbullying among students in the UK has yielded record low levels of satisfaction with life and high degrees of classroom anxiety and exam stress.

6. In 2017, there were 24,000 Childline counselling sessions on bullying faced by children, cyber bullying facts for the UK confirmed. 

(NSPCC Learning)

Bullying can happen at any time or place – a child can be bullied online while trying to relax or do schoolwork in their room – and can feel as if there is no way out. This can make dealing with bullying much more challenging for children.

What’s more:

If a youngster is bullied online, he or she may not recognise who is doing the bullying. And this can be quite terrifying.

7. Between 2011 and 2016, the number of youngsters facing online harassment in the UK rose by a staggering 88%.

(The Guardian)

Children as young as seven told cyberbullying ChildLine counsellors about being tormented and abused by deeply offensive messages from which they felt they had no escape. The comments on their social media pages, blogs, and online photos varied from harassment and derogatory remarks about their appearance to death threats and even orders to commit suicide.

According to child cyberbullying statistics for the UK, in about 31% of counselling sessions for online bullying, children and young people talked about gaming or social networking sites as places of abuse.

8. According to cyberbullying facts for the UK, 47% of victims identified their appearance as the reason for their harassment. 

(Statista)

Have you ever wondered about the perceived reasons for bullying?

Here are the bullying reasons heard from the victims’ mouths:

Statistic: Why do you think you were bullied? | Statista
At Mark in Style, we believe that no reason is the right reason, and the ideal UK bullying statistics should be at zero. These numbers point out the severity of the issue and the fact that no aspect of a person’s life is left untouched by bullies. 

9. Cyberbullying statistics from the UK reveal that 51% of online harassment in England in Wales in 2020 involved the same perpetrators. 

(Office for National Statistics)

Just over a third (36%) answered that this was not the case, while 13% did not know the perpetrators.

When asked whether the cyberbullying incidents were carried on privately or in public, students said: 

At 60%, private messages were used more frequently for types of bullying that do not necessarily involve any other children except the victim, such as someone calling them names, swearing at them or insulting them and nasty messages about them being sent to them.

In contrast, group messages were more commonly used for forms of online harassment that primarily involve other people, such as sending nasty comments about children to others or leaving children out of or excluded from a group or activity.


Cyberbullying in Schools

10. A study of 1000 parents of school-goers revealed the majority (82.8%) of cyberbullying happened at school. 

(Comparitech)

Bullying in schools in the UK is an alarming concern for parents, and more than eight in ten reported that schools are the site of this menace. 

When it’s not in school, it’s other places:

  • On the school bus – 32.5%
  • Over social media – 19.2%
  • A location outside of school – 17%
  • Through text messages – 11%

A distressing fact: 

Victims of cyberbullying are more likely to be bullied in person as well. Click To Tweet

11. A region-wide survey of Wales yielded cyber bullying information saying that 19% of secondary school students have experienced cyberbullying. 

(House of Commons Library)

Facts about cyberbullying shed light on gender and economic disparities in this trend: 

23% of girls had been cyberbullied, compared to 15% of boys. Youngsters from the least affluent families (42%) were bullied more than those from well-off families (33%).

12. 17% of respondents to the same Welsh survey admitted to bullying others in 2017.

(House of Commons Library)

Once again, there are significant gender differences, with 20% of boys engaging in bullying, compared to only 13% of girls. Bullying incidents peaked in Year 9, with 39% of students reporting them. They fell to their lowest in Year 11 (32%)

13. 91% of victims of cyber bullying cases in Scotland knew the bullies.

(House of Commons Library)

92% of the students knew their bullies from real life, while 91% knew online harassers. This indicates that anonymity does not necessarily fuel cyberbullying. What’s more worrying is that just 48% of bullied students informed their parents about the issue. 

14. Facts about bullying in the UK reveal 35% of students in Northern Ireland said they ‘strongly agreed’ their school was able to tackle bullying. 

(House of Commons Library)

Additionally, 30% of students said they ‘agreed’. 10% ‘disagreed’ on this point, while 5% ‘strongly disagreed’. This data comes from the annual Northern Ireland Young Life and Times Survey of 16-year-olds. 

15. Facts about bullying in schools state hurtful comments online topped the chart of the main types of cyberbullying, at 25%. 

(Pacer)

The second most widespread form of online harassment was the spreading of rumours online. 22% of the respondents indicated this form of bullying. 

Now:

Gender differences in cyberbullying are quite common. Girls were more likely to report that someone spread rumours about them online, whereas boys were more likely to report that someone threatened to harm them online. A study of 4,972 middle and high school kids in the US revealed this data. There’s no reason why the situation in the UK would be drastically different.

16. Bullying statistics in schools revealed that students with emotional disorders (35.3%) were more prone to harassment than those without disabilities. 

(Pacer)

Other bullying in schools facts suggest students with specific learning disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavioural disorders, other health disorders, and speech or language impairments, experience more victimisation than their peers who do not have disabilities.

17. Students with disabilities were more concerned about school safety and being injured or bullied by their peers, bullying statistics in school confirm.

(Pacer)

A quick look at the kinds of disabilities school bullies target, based on statistics about bullying:

  • Behavioural and emotional disorders – 35.3%
  • Autism – 33.9%
  • Intellectual disabilities – 24.3%
  • Other health problems – 20.8%
  • Specific learning disabilities – 19%

18. 19% of victims said that cyberbullying in schools happened entirely during school hours, cyberbullying statistics for the UK reveal. 

(Office for National Statistics)

Additionally, 52.9% of students said that some part of cyberbullying happened during school hours. At the end of the spectrum, only 28% said that none of it happened during school. A tiny proportion of students (6%) said bullying was not a problem in their schools.


Cyberbullying on Social Media

Social media can play a significant, positive role in education. However, it’s also rife with cyberbullies. Let’s see what the stats have to say.

cyberbullying statistics uk

19. In 2021, children on YouTube are the most likely to be cyberbullied of all social media platforms, with a rate of 79%.

(security.org)

Even prominent YouTubers receive unpleasant comments on a daily basis, both publicly and privately. Some of them are so vile that they could be deemed assassination threats. 

YouTubers may encounter other threats ranging from hacked accounts and stolen personal information to face-to-face confrontations merely because of their YouTube profile.

20. In 2017, Instagram was notorious for social media bullying, with rates equaling 42%.

(Ditch the Label, 2017)

Let’s review popular social media platforms and their cyberbullying rates:

  • Instagram – 42%
  • Facebook – 37%
  • Snapchat – 31%
  • WhatsApp – 12%
  • YouTube – 10%
  • Twitter – 9%

When asked whether social media platforms were doing enough to stem harassment, 71% of respondents said no, and only 29% said yes. 

21. Social media is a breeding ground of internet bullying trolls, as 38% of them are found on these platforms. 

(NCBI)

Cyberbullying statistics state that internet trolls who generally perpetrate bullying are most active on social media. 23% of them take to trolling on YouTube.

Trolls are also active on entertainment sites like BuzzFeed and chatrooms and forums like Reddit.

22. 79% of respondents admitted that their children who play online games are cyberbullying victims.

(Telenor)

Online gaming communities offer anonymity; as a result, nearly eight in ten children received physical threats. A further four in ten (41%) kids received sexist and racist remarks in chat forums. 

We also have data on the kind of gaming platforms bullies frequent:

  • MMORPGS games – 26.8%
  • Third-person shooters – 24.5%
  • First-person shooters – 14.2%
  • Sports games – 11.9% 

Cyber Bullying Consequences

23. Cyber bullying facts for the UK reveal that it has a wide range of mental and physiological effects, with 44% of respondents reporting high anxiety levels. 

(Ditch the Label, 2020)

Targets of cyberbullying may have major emotional issues such as depression, anger, and sadness. Victims report that they are frequently hesitant or altogether frightened to attend school. 

Furthermore, studies have found a link between cyberbullying and low self-esteem, family issues, academic challenges, school violence, and a variety of delinquent actions.

The effects of cyberbullying at a glance: 

  • Depression – 36%
  • Suicidal thoughts – 33%
  • Self-harm – 27%
  • Truancy from schools/colleges – 18%
  • Anti-social behaviour – 12%
  • Eating disorders – 12%
  • Attempted suicide – 11%
  • Drug abuse – 8%

24. Cyberbullying statistics from 2018 reveal that cyberbullying victims are nine times more prone to online fraud.

(Javelin Strategy)

This was discovered in a 2018 global survey conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research. The survey established a strong correlation between being bullied online and later becoming a victim of identity theft.

25. A 2017 study revealed women especially suffering from cyberbullying consequences, with 66% of them feeling powerless. 

(Statista)

As we’ve seen from the previous stats, the rates of cyberbullying are skewed towards females. As expected, it has wreaked havoc on the mental well-being of women worldwide. 

Here are some of its effects, according to recent cyber bullying statistics:

  • Feeling powerless in responding to the harassers – 66%
  • Sleeplessness – 63%
  • Low self-esteem – 61%
  • Hesitancy to use social media – 58%
  • Lack of focus – 56%
  • Anxiety/stress/panic attacks – 55%
  • Isolation – 54%
  • Mood swings – 53%

26. Cyberbullying statistics for 2020 revealed that bullying affected the friendships of 31.9% of kids. 

(Cyberbullying Research Center)

Out of 150 kids, 31.9% said cyberbullying had ended friendships. A majority, 69% of them, said it harmed their feelings about themselves. Additionally, 13.1% experienced health implications, while 6.5% said it affected their schoolwork. 

Now:

School authorities should be especially proactive with these stats in mind because cyberbullying is more than an experience of ‘feeling bad’. What it’s doing is harming kids’ self-image and perceptions of their capabilities early on in life. This can have lifelong consequences, so it shouldn’t be ignored. 

Let’s read about reporting cyberbullying next:

27. A 2020 survey of 12,387 students revealed that 79% of cyberbullying victims reported it. 

(Ditch the Label, 2020)

However, cyberbullying statistics for the UK further reveal 21% of them never spoke up about it. Out of the ones who reported it to teachers, 47% were satisfied with the solution.

Next:

93% told a family member, and 79% of them received support. A slightly smaller percentage, 86%, talked to a friend, and 69% of them were supported. Finally, 20% of respondents reported it to the police, and only 12% were satisfied.

Let’s tackle the issue of silence around cyberbullying:

28. Bullying stats reveal 39% of victims kept quiet about it because of embarrassment. 

(Ditch the Label, 2020)

This is one among an array of reasons why victims never spoke up about cyberbullying. 

The other prevalent ones are: 

  • It did not affect them enough – 33%
  • Scared of it getting worse – 38%
  • For fear that it won’t be taken seriously – 30%
  • Teachers are apathetic – 25%
  • Don’t feel it’s too serious – 30%
  • Fear of being called a ‘snitch’ – 38%
  • Have reported it before without any result – 23%
  • Don’t wish to feel victimised – 34%

Final Thoughts

The latest cyberbullying statistics for the UK reveal the prevalence of this social problem in the two places that kids frequent the most – schools and social media. 

We need not revisit the dangers of cyberbullying, as they are directly linked to suicides among teenagers.

What’s more:

It causes a host of mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Schools in the UK are empowered to take strict actions to stop this menace. At the same time, parents can stand up for their kids and decide whether to take civil action. Above all, it’s essential to nip the problem in the bud: 

Perpetrators of cyberbullying themselves suffer from insecurity and self-image issues. 

Frequent counselling sessions on school premises and parental monitoring of social media usage by kids are some ways to deal with the sensitive issue of kids’ self-esteem. 

The bottom line is:

Cyberbullying can cause considerable harm to the victim. What may appear to be a simple incident could have far-reaching long-term implications for the victim and should always be treated as such.


People Also Ask

Q: Is cyberbullying a crime in the UK?

Cyberbullying is not a crime in and of itself, and there is no particular cyber bullying law in the UK that recognises it. However, by partaking in cyberbullying, a person may be committing a criminal offence under a variety of acts like:

  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997
  • Malicious Communications Act 1988
  • Communications Act 2003
  • Obscene Publications Act 1959
  • Public Order Act 1986
  • Computer Misuse Act 1990

Q: What is the percentage of cyberbullying?

21% of children were cyberbullied in 2020. 56% of these reports occurred from January to July 2020.

Q: How many cases of cyberbullying are there?

According to cyberbullying surveys which studied parents of kids between the ages of 10 and 18, one in five children were cyberbullied in 2020

Q: When was the first case of cyberbullying?

One of the first incidents was Megan Meier, a 13-year-old who died by suicide in 2007 after neighbours harassed her by creating a false Myspace profile under the name Josh Evans was one of the first incidents. Cyberbullying became widespread after many teen suicides as a result of internet harassment.

Q: Which country has the highest rate of cyberbullying?

Q: Cyberbullying statistics for the UK state that the top three countries where cyberbullying is most prevalent are India, Brazil, and the United States. However, it is a common occurrence in the United Kingdom as well.


Sources:

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