DIT Research shows Irish children much more likely to be affected by cyberbullying

National Campaign Launched to Counter Impact of Cyberbullying

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Ruairi Quinn TD, Minister for Education and Skills, and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan today officially launched Safer Internet Day in Ireland by unveiling a new anti-cyberbullying awareness campaign. The campaign aims to address findings from a new DIT report which reveals that cyberbullying is having a significant emotional impact on Irish young people.

Dr. Brian O’Neill and Thuy Dinh from DIT are behind the EU Kids Online report on cyberbullying. Their research shows that over half of young people in Ireland who said they were cyberbullied confirmed that the online harassment seriously upset them. It also finds that children in Ireland are 7 times more likely to be deeply affected by cyberbullying than their European counterparts.

Other findings from EU Kids Online – Cyberbullying among 9-16 year olds in Ireland include:

For children who reported that they had been bullied on the internet, just 29% of parents were aware of this. 68% of parents did not know that their child had been bullied online.The impact of cyberbullying is striking: over half of all children bullied online said they were very upset or fairly upset (52%). For 44% this has a lasting effect, 14% were more deeply affected for a couple of months or more. This is a very high level of impact compared to the equivalent European finding (2%).Most young people who have been bullied talk to somebody about it (71%), mostly a friend or one of their parents. Very few (6%) speak to a teacher.Of children who have bullied others online, 44% have themselves been bullied online.Few (just 15%) children who were bullied online reported the problem using an online reporting tool. Only 9% of those who had been bullied found this helpful, indicating that much work needs to be done to improve the effectiveness of technical solutions.

Minister Quinn said: “Along with schools, parents, and industry; young people themselves have an important role to play in combating online bullying. When a bystander intervenes in a safe and effective way to support victims or lets the bully know that their behaviour is unacceptable, this action can inspire positive action by other bystanders and can reduce the negative effects of bullying on the victim.”

Safer Internet Day is co-funded by the Department of Education and Skills and the EU Safer Internet Programme. Partners include: Webwise, RTE Young Persons Programming, NPC Primary, NPC Post Primary, An Garda Síochána, Trend Micro, SPHE Support Service (Post-primary), Belong, Spunout. As part of Safer Internet Day 2013 a new anti-cyberbullying awareness campaign was lunched entitled the “Watch Your Space” campaign. The key messages of the campaign are that bystanders can make a positive impact by showing solidarity with the victim of online bullying and by sharing useful advice on how to cope with these situations.

Download the full report here: http://arrow.dit.ie/cserrep/31/

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