There?s no escape from bullies in a cyber world
"I FEEL like throwing up just thinking about you. U slut. You may think ur safe now, but ur gonna take a plunge." Welcome to the age of cyber bullying. On-line bullying in chat rooms, discussion groups, through emails, instant mes- sages and on web pages is reaching epidemic proportions. Girlfriend magazine recently conducted a survey to expose the prevalence of cyber bully- ing and its impact on young girls, but even the magazine was alarmed by the results. While they had expected the level of bullying to be high, they were not prepared for the results. Almost half (42 per cent) of the 13,300 teens sur- veyed had been cyber bullied by a student at their school. Cyber bullying is worse than the normal school-yard bullying as it can't be escaped. Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Cul- ture of Aggression in Girls, first exposed cyber bullying in 2003. "With the click of a button, children can email rumours to scores of recipients for instant viewing, permanently damaging a peer's reputation and social life," Ms Simmons said. Children now have access to each other 24-hours-a-day and can bully each other at mid- night. One of the most alarming statistics in the survey was that 58 per cent said they be- lieved the school would or could not do anything to stop it.