More and more kids start spending time on the Internet. Some of them watch funny videos on YouTube, others communicate with their mates on social media, and older ones even engage in casino play online. Yet, in all cases, they may end up facing cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is becoming more and more common, an in-depth survey shows.
In Latvia, 81% of parents believe that cyberbullying has become common in recent years. Researchers have reached this conclusion according to the data from the Bite Latvia mobile operator.
The upsurge of this problem is associated with many forms of cyberbullying and the platforms where it can take place. The reason is that many people still believe that everything is allowed on the Internet. Yet, this issue is not only among children but also among adults. Furthermore, people face this problem in all countries, regardless of their overall situation.
Often children and teenagers who find themselves in a situation of cyberbullying do not begin to solve the problem. Parents believe that children do not want to address the problem. They are afraid that if they talk about it openly, the situation will get even worse.
The other most common reason parents mentioned was that children lack knowledge about how to behave in such situations:
- 49% of parents believe that children do not know that the abuser can be punished.
- 28% of respondents stated that children are afraid of conviction.
- 27% of parents state that children expect the problem to resolve itself.
- 17% believe that the child has already tried to solve the problem but did not get enough support.
The results of the survey show that there is still a lack of awareness of specific steps that can be taken. The first priority is to identify the problem. Moreover, parents should start communicating more with their children.
Expert Gunita Kleinberga noted that a bullied child faces emotional difficulties. So, now, it is especially important for him to have the support of his parents.
It should be noted that bullying occurs not only on the Internet but also in real life. 57% of Latvian students have been bullied or isolated by classmates in the past year.
Alleged aggression in the form of physical violence or threats was reported to 36% of students. 25% of respondents had been subjected to cyberbullying. They have received insulting messages or health threats. Physical violence dominates among boys. 67% of them have experienced public bullying. Yet, psychological violence in the form of isolation and bullying dominates among girls. 60% of them were exposed to it.
Experts believe that parents currently underestimate their children's knowledge about violence. The study showed that 84% of children have a clear idea of what cyberbullying is. Moreover, every second school child has experienced psychological or physical violence. And the age of children doesn't matter. The problem accrues even in high school.
The survey was conducted by the mobile operator Bite Latvia in September 2020. They conducted it with the research agency Norstat Latvia. More than 500 parents of school-age children took part in the survey.