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Cyberbullying – Threatening Our Youth

The Long Island Crisis Center provides local parents with the information they need to know about cyber-bullying, and how to make sure their children are protected online.

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Bellmore, NY, April 24th, 2013 – As the trial of two young men begins involving the sexual assault, cyber bullying and suicide of a California high school student, it is critical that everyone be aware of this latest phenomenon of cyber bullying that is threatening the well-being and lives of young people everywhere.

The reported statistics for cyber bullying of online teens is alarming:  

  • 32% have been targets of annoying or potentially menacing messages.
  •  38% of all girls report being bullied;  and 41% of older girls (ages 15-17) report being bullied.
  • 39% of social network users have been cyberbullied compared with 22% of teens who do not use social networks.
  • 13% have had an experience online that made them nervous to go to school the next day.
  • 55% “look the other way” when they see someone else being mean or cruel online.
  • Only 1 in 6 parents know their child has been bullied over social media;
  • “Hyper-networking” teens (those who spend more than three hours per school day on social networks) are 110% more likely to be a victim of cyberbullying.

“There are warning signs that a child may be a victim of cyberbullying that parents should be aware of,” states Laura Campbell, Community Educator at Long Island Crisis Center.  “It could be changes in behavior that include:  appearing sad, moody or anxious; avoiding school; withdrawing from social activities; experiencing a drop in grades; appearing upset after using the computer; or appearing upset after viewing a text message.”

Parents need to be proactive in this assault on their children:

  • Tell your child that you know about cyberbullying and ask if s/he or their friends have ever experienced it.
  • Emphasize that you do not blame them if they are being cyberbullied and that you will not take away their computer/phone privileges;  the threat of losing their computer/phone time is the main reason kids don’t tell adults when they are cyberbullied.
  • Listen carefully and don’t trivialize what they are experiencing.  Some events may not seem like a big deal to you, but are a serious blow to their self-esteem.
  • Teach your child what to do in cases where s/he feels threatened or bullied.
  • Set rules about online time.
  • Make sure that you know their screen names and passwords and that they don’t include any personal information in their online profiles.
  • Explain that cyberbullying is unacceptable.  Tell them that you expect responsible online behavior and there will be consequences for inappropriate behavior.
  • Become familiar with each person that is on your child’s social media network.

For information about a cyber bullying presentation for your school or community group, call Long Island Crisis Center at 516-826-0244

For support, short-term counseling and resources and referrals, call the Crisis Center’s 24/7 hotline at 516-679-1111 or online chat at or text LICC to 839863.