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Cyberbullying Statistics Australia

Report Highlights

  • 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.

Cyberbullying Statistics Australia

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.

Image abuse

  • 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.


  1. New data finds more than half of Aussie kids experience cyberbullying
  2. Tips for staying safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Online safety help for women
  4. Australia’s eSafety commissioner targets abuse online as covid-19 supercharges cyberbullying
  5. eSafety office records 340% spike in complaints as coronavirus impacts online behaviour
  6. Victoria University – Bullying & Cyberbullying
  7. Adult cyber abuse
  8. Bullyzero – Statistics and figures
  9. Australia: Poll reveals alarming impact of online abuse against women
  10. eSafety Commissioner Image-based abuse report
  11. Global urban and social-studies revenge porn report
  12. Young Australian women cop more online harassment than global average, report finds



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