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49% of Teens, Young Adults Bullied Online: Survey

By Betty Wang, JD | Last updated on

A new online bullying survey finds that "cyber bullying" is still very prevalent, though it may be on the decline.

About half of teens and young adults -- 49 percent -- claim they had at least one brush with some kind of electronic harassment in 2013, down from 56 percent in 2011.

The survey of nearly 1,300 people between 14 and 24 was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV. Here are a few more of the key findings:

  • 10 percent of those surveyed in 2013 (down from 12 percent in 2011) claim that someone has used an email message, instant message, or cell phone text message to threaten physical harm.
  • 8 percent of those surveyed (down from 9 percent in 2011) claim that someone had videotaped or photographed them doing something embarrassing without their knowledge and shared it with other people.
  • Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed in 2013 (72 percent) say cyber bullying is a problem that needs to be addressed -- a 7-point increase from 2011.
  • Of those who have encountered an incident, 34 percent went to a parent in 2013, while only 27 percent did so two years ago.
  • And 18 percent -- up from 12 percent in 2011 -- asked a brother or sister for help.
  • 72 percent of those encountering digital abuse claim that changing their email address, screen name or phone number helped.
  • 66 percent of those being cyber-bullied who spoke to a parent claimed that helped as well.

Bullying Is Bullying

While bullying has been around for ages, cyber bullying, or digital abuse, is a new beast that has been cropping up alongside increasing technological advances. Despite the new term and platforms being used, however, it presents a concern that should be addressed immediately.

If you've encountered a cyber bully, check out FindLaw's page on Online Safety for Kids and learn how to protect your child from online threats.

Lastly, don't forget that there are many experienced Internet attorneys near you who can help figure out the best way to proceed if you're battling a bully online.

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