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SA has one of the highest prevalence of cyberbullying

In a 2018 report, South Africans came out tops of the cyberbullying

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG – Among 28 countries, South Africa showed the highest prevalence of cyberbullying.

This was according to a 2018 report by research company Ipsos Global Advisor.

The report showed that more than 80% of South Africans said they were aware of cyberbullying and almost three-quarters of South Africans believe that the anti-bullying measures we have in place are insufficient.

Fifty-four percent of parents who took part in the study admitted to knowing at least one child in their community who has been a victim of cyberbullying, up by 24% since 2011.

Last week, a 13-year-old girl from Pretoria committed suicide after a photograph was sent around her school via WhatsApp. It's understood the Grade 6 pupil took her life at her home on Monday after a Grade 7 pupil threatened to distribute a video of her naked.

Speaking on Radio702 on Monday, Baby Yum Yum and CEO of SaveTNet Cyber Safety Rianette Leibowitz said the impact bullying has on emotions and social interaction is far worse than we anticipate. Leibowitz called for more education to be put in place to teach people about cyberbullying.

“What we do have is a network of forensic analysts, psychologists, the right people at the police and legal advisers.”

Leibowitz said there was also a police unit that specifically focused on cybercrime issues that people could reach out to.

SIGNS IF YOUR CHILD IS BEING CYBERBULLIED

According to Cyberbullying.org, some of the signs that could indicate your child is a victim of bullying:

  1. When they unexpectedly stop using their electronic devices;

  2. They appear nervous when using their devices;

  3. Seems reluctant about going to school or going outside;

  4. Seem angry, depressed or sad;

  5. Oversleeping or not sleeping enough (struggling to sleep);

  6. Making suicidal statements; and

  7. An increase or decrease in eating.