- One out of every five young Aussies reported social exclusion, facing threats or abuse while online between June 2016 and June 2017.
- 85% of bullying instances comprise the peers of the involved parties as onlookers.
- Cyberbullying results in at least three cases of suicide among the cohort aged between 5 and 17 years.
- Over the decade spanning 2010 and 2020, there was a 32% rise in the cases of cyberbullying.
- More than half of the children who experience cyberbullying do not talk to their parents about it.
- 83% of the students who bully others online also bully others physically.
- 84% of students who face cyber abuse are also victims of physical abuse.
Women facing cyberbullying
- A 2018 survey with 500 female participants found out that, for every ten women, three experience abuse online.
- Almost half of them were aged between 18 and 24 years.
- 37% of these women said that the bullying they faced online made them feel that their physical safety was at risk.
- Two out of every five women experience online abuse motivated by gender – misogyny, and sexism.
- Racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic abuse affects 48% of moderate to active female internet users in Australia.
- 11% of women facing online abuse report having their identifying information shared online without their consent.
- 11% of Australians have faced image-grounded cyber abuse.
- One in every two victims of sexual image or video content abuse had identifying information on the images or videos.
- 80% of Australians acknowledge that it is criminal to share sexual images without consent.
- At least one in five Australians have been bystanders of image cyber abuse.
- Of adults over 18 years, females are twice as likely to face abuse as compared to men.
- 47% of those who feel the pressure to share nude images eventually face image abuse.
- 63% of the victims are abused by people close to them including, an ex (13%), relationship partner (12%), family member (10%), or colleague at work (4%).
Effects of online abuse
- Cyberbullying leads to a higher probability of suicide than traditional bullying.
- Young Aussies facing online abuse react to it but in different ways. 28% asked for help from their friends, 55% approached their parents, 12% made a report to the respective platform, and 38% had to block off the offender.
- The young people (15% of the kids and 24% among the teens) also acknowledged the presence of negative behaviour towards someone else online.
- The abuse is a chain effect, with 90% of the kids admitting to being online abusers had themselves experienced a negative endeavour while online.
- Across all ages, Australia sees about ten suicides related to cyberbullying every week.
- 7% of students in middle and high school have had web pages created, targeting abuse towards them.
Online hate speech as a cause of cyberbullying
- A study conducted by eSafetyresearch found that 14% of adults were targeted by hateful online speech between August 2018 and August 2019.
- Persons who identified as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islanders, or LGBTQI faced more than double the average rate of online hate speech.
- 36% of the people who faced online hate speech sought for formal and informal assistance by blocking the offender, filing a report, or talking to one’s family.
- 64% of people who face online hate speech failed to take any action against it.
- 58% of those who experience online hate speech end up with a negative outcome on various aspects of their lives including reputation, emotional state.
- 70% of the adults felt that online hate speech was on the rise and more needs to be done to stop it. 78% wanted the social media platforms to be held accountable while 71% felt new laws should be introduced to this effect.
- 47% of Aussies who face hate speech are attacked by a person they are familiar with; 19% are abused by a friend, while 13% face abuse from strangers.
- 54% of parties who faced online hate speech choose to ignore it.
- Of those who did not take action, 24% felt taking action would change nothing, 17% did not know what to do, and 7% were too embarrassed to act.
- 46% of those who took action blocked the hating person, 45% reported the offending party, 36% spoke to someone about it, 19% confronted their abuser, 15% contacted the police, and 11% chose to spend less time online.
- Three out of ten people who faced hate speech were not satisfied by the actions taken to resolve the issue.
How Australians perceive cyberbullying
A Relationships Australia September 2020 survey revealed the following about Australians’ opinions on cyberbullying.
- 74% of the respondents acknowledged that cyberbullying was a big problem among school-aged children, 24% only saw it as kind of a problem, with 2% saying it was not a problem.
- More than 50% of the respondents felt they were able to address cyberbullying, but also 20% of these participants were unsure about their general understanding of child mental health.
- In addressing cyberbullying, 97% of the respondents felt the abuser’s parents were required to take action, 61% felt the government was required to take responsibility, and 70% felt that the platform where the abuse took place ought to be held responsible.
- Slightly over half (53%) of the respondents insisted that the school was accountable for any cyberbullying that occurs between students outside school or during off-school hours.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cyberbullying in Australia
- In 2020, there were 21,000 reports of online abusive content, which represented a 90% rise over the previous year.
- Adults faced a rise of 40% in cases of cyber abuse, while the instances of online abuse targeting children rose by 30%.
- There was a 114% rise over 2019 in the number of cases involving sharing intimate images without consent.
- Queensland Kids Helpline saw a 14% increase in the number of calls received as the pandemic started. The calls revolved around children seeking help with mental health, suicidal thoughts, and instances of cyber abuse.
A Relationships Australia Monthly Website Survey (September 2020) focussed on cyberbullying targeting school children, established;
- As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning was embraced and this increased the exposure that children had to cyberbullying. 70% of the respondents agreed that schoolchildren were exposed to online bullying.
- New data finds more than half of Aussie kids experience cyberbullying
- Tips for staying safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Online safety help for women
- Australia’s eSafety commissioner targets abuse online as covid-19 supercharges cyberbullying
- eSafety office records 340% spike in complaints as coronavirus impacts online behaviour
- Victoria University – Bullying & Cyberbullying
- Adult cyber abuse
- Bullyzero – Statistics and figures
- Australia: Poll reveals alarming impact of online abuse against women
- eSafety Commissioner Image-based abuse report
- Global urban and social-studies revenge porn report
- Young Australian women cop more online harassment than global average, report finds