October is National Bullying Prevention Month. But each and every day, we must be reminded it takes all of us to prevent bullying and cyberbullying which can have a significant impact on physical and mental health.
Cyberbullying can take many forms, including:
harassing, humiliating, or threatening texts or images
embarrassment, exclusion or intimidation
impersonating, catfishing (creating a fictional identity) or doxing (sharing another person’s information without permission)
cyberstalking a person’s online activity
With 95% of children (ages 3-18 years) having internet access, anyone can be a victim.
Teachers rated cyberbullying as the number one safety concern in their classrooms. (Google Survey, 2019).
Nearly half (46%) of teens age 13-17 have been bullied or harassed online (Pew Research, 2022).
Cyberbullying can lead to anxiety, depression, eating disorders, low self-esteem or even self harm or suicidal-related behaviors or thoughts.
Extreme cases may lead victims to believe they have nowhere else to turn. Tragically, 17-year-old Jordan DeMay of Michigan took his own life last year after an online chat turned to demands that he pay money to keep intimate photos secret. He was one of thousands of American teenagers targeted in a sharp rise in online “sextortion” cases in recent years.
No child is immune to online threats: Parents are the “first line of defense.”
The good news is that everyone can be educated and empowered to address and prevent cyberbullying. Enough Is Enough has helpful resources to get you get started.