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Millions of Students Skip School Each Year Because of Bullying
Talk with your kids about cyberbullyingUnderstanding
Understandintg Cyberbullying in College: Tips, Tools & Solutions for Recognizing and Stopping Bullying in
Social Media and Online
Teen Victims of Cyberbullying More Likely to Abuse Drugs and Alcohol: Study
Students Take On Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying Quiz: Have you ever been Cyberbullied?
Pediatric Emergency Department Visits for Mental Health Crisis: Prevalence of Cyber-Bullying in Suicidal Youth
Why Do Kids Bully Each Other Online?
Top Ten Mistakes
Simple Avoidance Tactics
If You Have Been Harassed Online: What to Do
If It Does Happen
Checklist on your Personal Information
What Can You Do To Stop It?
Where Do You Report It?
Teen Victims of Cyberbullying More Likely to Abuse Drugs and Alcohol: Study
Professional Tennis Player Retires Following Cyber-Bullying Incident
Cyberbullying: What Is Cyberbullying and How to Stop It - An overview
CyberStalking Links

Death Hyperlink: Internet Suicide Pacts: Medical Journal Warns of 'Cybersuicide' Trend




Bully - The Movie Trailer

(Anderson Cooper)
(48 Hours)

Bullying In College

Dying To Belong Student Version
"End Bullying Today, Not Tomorrow" Short Film - College play
Cyber Bullying - The College Perspective
Adolescent mental health: depression, suicidality and cyber-bullying Part 1
Adolescent Mental Health: depression, suicidality and cyber-bullying Part 2
Social Media, Bullying, & Mental Health


Loyalist College Students Bullying Awareness Video
Bullying Awareness Week Project
Bullying Awareness Video Project
Cyber Bullying on the College Campus
Cyber Bullying: Public Health Promotion Video (UOIT)
City College - Cyber Bullying Documentary - UK
LPS: Cyberbully (Short Film)
College Life Pt. 1 - Sorority Life
College Life Pt. 2- Social Networking & Cyberbullying
Cyber Bullying Movie
Cyberbully - Suicide Attempt Scene. ** SAD PART
Cyber-Bullying Video
College Cyber Bullying and Hazing
Two Girls Arrested After One Allegedly Brags On Facebook About Cyber Bullying Suicide Victim
Cyber Bullying: Public Health Promotion Video (UOIT)
Cyberbullying movie- FREAK
Cyber Bully (Short Film)
Elizabeth (a cyberbullying movie view)
Clip on college inappropriate posts from social media dangers presentation
An American girl: Chrissa stands strong (full movie)
Cyber bully (full movie)
The Zeroes - Anti Bully movie
Odd girl out 2005 full movie/complete
Cyber bullies - part of anti-bullying week & film by West Yorkshire Police & Sissitt
Anti bullying short film competition runner up - PQA Newcastle and Durham
True Bully Stories

Talk with your kids about cyberbullying

Cyberbullying has intensified the experience of getting bullied by literally shattering the walls between school and home. There is no escape. Cyberbullying follows you everywhere: home, summer camp, to Grandma’s house.”

Fact is, it’s not enough to say to a kid, “So don’t go online. Don’t pick up the phone.” Could you follow that advice? I sure couldn’t. Young people are passionate about their reputations. They’re also developmentally unable to understand that anything beyond their personal hell exists.

With a recent study showing that youth spend nearly every waking moment with a device in their hand, we want to share some of advice on how to talk with your child about cyberbullying and digital citizenship.

Experts say there are some guidelines parents can follow to protect their children, at least until they're old enough to make decisions for themselves.

1. Monitor the use of your child’s photo online. Many cyberbullies will take your child’s photo and manipulate it in ways that are damaging or embarrassing. Be very careful about the images your child presents online, especially those coming from cell phones.

2. Watch out for cell phones, period. If you can’t figure it out, regardless of whether your child is dying to have it, don't buy it.

3. Regularly check in with kids and gauge the emotional tenor of the social network. Ask "What happened online today" right after you ask "How was school today." Often, simply raising questions and having an open discussion are the best ways to find out whether children are encountering inappropriate pressure online.

4. Set, then obey, age limits. If you’re child is under 13 they DO NOT belong on Facebook. Parents need to enforce that rule and not play ostrich. All conversations need to be age appropriate. Say "sexting" to a 13-year-old, but not to a 10-year-old.

5. Know who your kids are talking to. Don’t assume -- there is no profile for a cyberbully or a victim. It's not about spying. Teach your kids to seek out an adult, such as yourself, if they are online and one of the ' four Ds' occurs: something Dangerous, Destructive, Derogatory, or Damaging.

6. Teach kids to let it roll off their backs. Advise your kids not to make comments or join in spiteful threads. Be nice. Emphasize the positive: “I see you as a person with enormous kindness, integrity and respect for others. I expect you to be that same person when you’re using an electronic device." Don’t forward negative communication or respond back, but show it to a trusted adult.

7. The Internet is forever. Remind kids constantly of its permanence. It's not a great place to play a prank on someone, since it never goes away and spreads like wildfire.

If you haven’t had this conversation, or one like it, do not pass go. The time is now.

Millions of Students Skip School Each Year Because of Bullying

Over five years ago I saw a statistic that jumped out at me: “160,000 students stay home from school every day because of bullying.” This is a compelling and frankly unacceptable number. I thought about including it in a book that Sameer and I were working on at the time. As I started to dig into its origin, I quickly learned that it was frequently reported but rarely attributed to any specific study. I came to see the stat as a ubiquitous headline in many anti-bullying blog posts, articles, and books, and yet very few authors cited their source (my students know this is a particular peeve of mine). Most commonly, the statistic was credited vaguely to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the National Association of School Psychologists. I never did find its original source (and therefore didn’t include it in the book), but instead wrote my own blog post pleading with writers to ensure the validity of—and cite—their sources.

The closest I came to finding existing national data to attempt to answer this question was the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey. In 2015, it found that 5.6% of high school students said they did not go to school because they “felt unsafe at school or on the way to school” on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey. Converted to raw numbers, this means that about 840,000 high schoolers skipped school at least once in a month because of safety concerns. But this figure doesn’t distinguish between different reasons for feeling unsafe (and only includes 9th-12th graders).

I don’t doubt that many students skip school every day because of bullying (I did when I was in middle school), but the precise number remains elusive. In an effort to shed some more light on this issue, we included some questions in our most recent survey of approximately 5,700 middle and high school students from across the United States. Specifically, we asked youth to tell us if they had stayed home from school at any time during the last school year because they were being (1) bullied at school or (2) bullied online.

While we can’t accurately estimate exactly how many students stay home on any given day, we do know the number of students who have stayed home because of bullying over the course of a school year. According to, there were 25 million 12-17 year olds in the United States in 2015. Based on our survey, 18.5% of those (or about 4,750,000 students) have skipped school at some point in the last year because of bullying at school. Approximately 2%, or over 500,000 students, said they stayed home “many times” due to bullying.

In addition, 10% of the students we surveyed (2,750,000 students in the U.S.) said they stayed home from school because of bullying online (1.2%, or 300,000, “many times”). Taking into consideration that many students who are bullied online are also bullied at school, we can conservatively estimate that approximately 5.4 million students skip school at some point in the year due to bullying (over 530,000 skip many times).

Other findings from our study also speak to potential academic consequences of experiences with bullying. For example, about 41% of the students told us that they had been bullied at school (and 13% said they were bullied online) in a way that really affected their ability to learn and feel safe at school. Moreover, students who had been bullied or cyberbullied were significantly less likely to report that they felt safe at their school. Specifically, 76% of students who were bullied at school (and only 57% of students who had been cyberbullied) said they felt safe at their school. As a point of comparison, over 95% of students who had not been bullied or cyberbullied felt safe at their school.

Taken as a whole, these findings demonstrate the toll that bullying (both at school and online) can have on the academic success of students. We can’t expect students to do well in school if they aren’t attending regularly. While we still can’t tell you exactly how many students skip school on a given day because of bullying (or miss for some other reason), we know that many do. And many others attend school, but with a focus more on staying safe than learning. This knowledge alone should be enough to prioritize bullying prevention and school safety initiatives in 2017 and beyond.

Students Take On Cyberbullying


In this lesson idea, the short video “Cyberbullying” is explored through teaching strategies such as pre-viewing, anticipation guides, four corners, evaluating Internet resources, fishbowl and levels of questions. By learning about cyberbullying and how students in Watchung are taking a stand against online bullying, students may think more deeply about this in their own community.


Suggested Activities

Pre-viewing – Before watching the video, identify the core issue the students are attempting to address: cyberbulling. What does it mean to be bullied online? What does friendship mean in person vs. in a social network such as Facebook? How can students move from being bystanders to becoming an upstander?

Then ask students to respond to the following questions:

  • What strategies might students use to address these issues?
  • What are the risks, if any, to taking these steps?
  • What challenges might students confront?
  • What would “success” in addressing these issues look like? How could “success” be measured?
  • What resources do students need to be successful?
  • What might be the consequences of doing nothing?

Anticipation guidesAnticipation guides ask students to express an opinion about ideas before they encounter them in a text of unit of study. Often teachers ask students to return to their anticipation guides after exploring new material, noting how their opinions may have shifted or strengthened as a result of new information. Here are examples of statements you can use to encourage students to think about the ideas addressed in this video:

  • Students are the most powerful influence on their school’s tone and climate. They decide what kind of behavior is acceptable and unacceptable.
  • Stepping in when you see someone treated unfairly is easier in person than online.
  • It is unrealistic to think that social networks (such as Facebook) can be places where all students are treated fairly and kindly.
  • If someone is verbally or physically attacking another student – someone you do not know – the best thing to do is stay out of it.
  • Cyberbulling is less harmful than face to face bullying.
  • Bystanders have the power to stop injustice.
  • If bullies knew their behavior was unacceptable, they would stop acting that way.
  • The best way to stop teasing, harassment and bullying is to have a stronger system of enforcement and punishment.

(Note: Many teachers use the Four Corners strategy to structure a conversation about controversial statements.)

Not in Our School: Sample Anticipation Guide:

Directions: Read the statement in the left column. Decide if you strongly agree (SA), agree (A), disagree (D), or strongly disagree (SD) with the statement. Circle your response.

Your Opinion
Strongly Agree
Strongly Disagree

1. Students are the most powerful influence on their school’s tone and climate. They decide what kind of behavior is acceptable and unacceptable.

2. Bystanders have the power to stop or prevent injustice.

3. Stepping in when you see someone treated unfairly is easier in person than online.

4. The best way to stop teasing, harassment and bullying is to have a stronger system of enforcement and punishment.

5. If someone is verbally or physically attacking another student – someone you do not know – the best thing to do is to stay out of it.

6. It is unrealistic to think that social networks (such as Facebook) can be places where all students are treated fairly and kindly.

7. If someone is verbally or physically attacking your friend, the best thing to do is to stay out of it.

Using web resources on school climate, bullying and hate crimes: After having students watch the video you might want to have them explore some of the following resources to learn more about school climate, bullying and hate crimes. Students can report back to the class about what they found. Or, you can use information from these websites to create a short lecture.

  • National School Climate Center
  • Cyberbullying Research Center
  • Students’ Reports of Being Called Hate-Related Words and Seeing Hate-Related Graffiti (2009, National Center for Educational Statistics)
  • Bullying at School and Cyberbullying Anywhere (2009, National Center for Educational Statistics)
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hate Crimes Division
  • “Combating Hate,” Anti-Defamation League

You could also ask your students to use online search engines to locate information from credible sources on bullying and/or hate crimes. In addition to the general search function, Google provides searches that present information in different ways. You can find these functions on the bottom left navigation list and/or by clicking the heading “More search tools.”

  • “Wonder wall” breaks down a topic into sub-topics via a concept may display. Click here for an example of a Wonder Wall search for the term “bullying.” Students could be assigned different spokes of the wheel to explore in greater depth.
  • “Timeline” presents information organized by year. This function allows students to trace the history of bullying or hate crimes, as reported by the media.
  • “Nearby” provides information relevant to your particular area. This function allows students to focus on bullying or hate crime incidents in their region.

Review the strategy “Evaluating internet resources for ideas on how to help students assess the validity of their sources.

Fishbowl – After students have had the opportunity to process the video independently or in small groups, facilitate a whole-class conversation. Here are some specific questions with which you might consider having students grapple:

  • What were students responding to in this video? What problem were they trying to solve?
  • What did they do? What strategies did they employ? What community or school resources did they draw from?
  • What risks did they take? What challenges did they confront?
  • What do you think of their response? What did they accomplish?
  • What advice would you offer these students? What could be some next steps these students could take to further address this problem?
  • What more do you want to know about this situation? If you had the opportunity, what would you want to ask the students in this video?
  • What do you think the new immigrants gleaned from this experience? How could this project be expanded and deepened?

Fishbowl: Fishbowl is a strategy that helps students practice being active listeners and participants in a discussion. Half the class can debrief the video while the other half observes. Then students can switch roles.

Levels of questions -- Here is an example of the kinds of questions you can use with this strategy:

  • Level one: What were students responding to in this video? What action did they take?
  • Level two: What do you think of their response? In what ways was it effective? What else could they have done to address the problem they saw in their school or community?
  • Level three: What power do you think young people have to change attitudes and actions? What gives young people power? What limits the power of young people to create change?

Teen Victims of Cyberbullying More Likely to Abuse Drugs and Alcohol: Study

Teens who are cyberbullied are more likely than their peers who are not harassed online or through cell phone messages to develop symptoms of substance abuse, depression and Internet addiction, a new study concludes.

Spanish researchers found victims of cyberbullying are at higher risk for psychological and behavioral health problems, including substance abuse, after six months of bullying, Health Behavior News Service reports.

Manuel Gamez-Guadix, PhD of the University of Deusto in Spain surveyed 845 teens, and found 24 percent had been a victim of one cyberbullying behavior, 15.9 percent had experienced two such behaviors, and 8 percent had experienced cyberbullying three times.

The researchers note in the Journal of Adolescent Health that cyberbullying is a growing problem among teens. It can include hurtful and harassing messages, rumors, inappropriate or fake photos and videos posted on social networking sites, or in text messages or emails.

Gamez-Guadix said, “It is important to include strategies to prevent cyberbullying within interventions for behavioral problems during adolescence. Mental health professionals should pay special attention to these problems in the treatment of victims of cyberbullying.”

Why Do Kids Bully Each Other Online?

There are many reasons kids bully each other online. Sometimes they are bored and looking for entertainment. Sometimes they are nursing a grudge and want to hurt the other. They may see themselves are righteous avengers, righting the wrongs of the intented victim. They may be the victim of an offline bullying or another netbully, striking back the only way they can. They may be jealous, hurt or just role-playing. They may not even mean to netbully another. They might have just had their communications misunderstood or misdelivered.

Each type of netbully requires a different approach. They ways we can stop and prevent them are different. And our educational campaigns have to cover all different motiviations to be effective. And the approach to helping the victim differs depending on why they have been bullied. While all victims need support and caring and understanding, there is a difference between the victim merely being in the wrong cyberplace at the wrong time and being the intended victim of a dangerous multi-pronged campaign of harassment and terror. The educational and prevention programs need to consider these differences as well.

Where Do You Report It?

There is no easy answer about where you should report bullying online. It depends on a number of circumstances, like the kind of communications, the level of harassment and when and how the communications are made.

Schools may try and take action when a student is bullied online. But they often find themselves defending an expensive lawsuit brought by the irate parent of the bully charging them with overstepping their authority. Schools have limited authority to address actions that take place outside of school grounds and off-hours unless it is a school-sponsored activity. Since most netbullying occurs from the bully's home computer after school, it may be outside fo the scope of a school's authority.

Unless the school plans carefully in advance and builds their authority into their acceptable use contracts, they may not be authorized to act.

Law enforcement is typically unprepared to deal with cyberharassment cases, specially when children are involved. They may be unable to conduct a cyber-investigation, and may not be able to find a crime to hang their hat on. While many cases of bullying online may be illegal, especially when hacking and death threats are involved, much of what occurs is not a crime.

ISPs are often the best place to start, after the bully's parents have been contacted, or if the victim doesn't know for sure the identity fo their bully. Most netbullying violates the ISPs terms of service. And if the case is recorded and reported correctly, the ISP may shut down the netbully's account.

Death Hyperlink: Internet Suicide Pacts: Medical Journal Warns of 'Cybersuicide' Trend

The car, parked on a deserted mountain road near Tokyo, had its windows taped shut from the inside. In the car were small charcoal burners -- and the bodies of seven people.

Within a few miles of the scene, another car held two more bodies.

The suicide victims were five men and two women ranging in age from 34 to 20. They came from all over Japan. What drew them together was an Internet posting from the 34-year-old woman offering a suicide pact.

On Nov. 28, four men were found dead in a Tokyo apartment where they had gassed themselves. The next day, two men and two women were found dead in a car parked near a dam outside Tokyo. Police suspect the two unrelated groups met over the Internet.

Could it happen outside Japan? Psychiatrist Sundararajan Rajagopal, MD, thinks it might. His editorial in the Dec. 4 issue of the British Medical Journal sounds the alarm. Rajagopal is with the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust in London.

"In recent years there has been concern about the role of the Internet in normal suicide -- solitary suicide, people who take their lives on their own," Rajagopal tells WebMD. "There is evidence that the Internet can influence people to take their own lives. The term coined is 'cybersuicide.' What we are seeing in Japan may occur sporadically in other countries. We cannot rule out the possibility that people, who might otherwise have taken their lives on their own, will meet on the Internet to form suicide pacts."

Suicide Sites Easy to Find

Web sites dedicated to suicide are easy to find on the Internet. Here are some excerpts from one suicide chat room:

"I somethings [sic] think I'd prefer myself dead. And then other times I do as well. And sometimes, I think I'd prefer myself dead. And rarely I don't not think I'd prefer myself dead.

"You really want to die but on the good days you programmed yourself to know that on the bad days when you really want to die you don't really want to die and that you are thinking irrationally. But i want to die."

"Now if you'll excuse me, i have a bus to catch."

"Catching a bus," on these web sites, is slang for killing oneself. Don't try to log on to save anyone. Those leaving antisuicide messages are banned from the sites.

Perhaps it was just talk and nothing serious. But psychologist Gerald Goodman, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of California in Los Angeles, says it's important to take talk of suicide seriously.

"Suicide oftentimes involves some sense of isolation," Goodman says. "Theorists say that the heart of it is meaninglessness. Meaninglessness without hope. When you look at why people do it, there are several things that add up: isolation, meaninglessness, and self-loathing -- disgust with oneself."

If isolation is part of the recipe for suicide, wouldn't a community -- even an Internet chat room of suicidal people -- keep people from killing themselves?

No, Goodman says. In fact, suicidal patients often tell him in chilling language that other people's suicides gave them "inspiration" or "courage" to kill themselves. It comes, ironically, from the human need to be known.

"The suicide wants company. The suicidal person thinks, 'I want to be known by you, and if you truly empathize with me there is no question you will want to talk me out of it - because if you know me you know it is the right thing to do,'" Goodman says. "So the empathy on these web sites is not saying, "Oh, I really understand you.' Instead, they demonstrate that they know how you feel by adding to it. It is collaborative. It is mutual support for suicide."

Goodman notes that there are many more web sites dedicated to mental health, support, and professional help than there are to suicide. But the suicide sites offer something enormously powerful.

"Mutual support is more powerful as a change agent than psychotherapy," Goodman says. "Psychotherapy is one-way intimacy. But with mutual support, we are both in it together. You aren't going to try to talk me out of it. We want the same thing. I've heard the word inspiration twice in this context. Inspiration for suicide."

Since young people are at particular risk of Internet-supported suicide, Goodman suggests that parents monitor teens' Internet use. And Rajagopal suggests that doctors and psychologists should ask depressed patients about whether they have used the Internet to obtain information about suicide.

The good news, Rajagopal notes, is that very few suicides -- only about one in 100, even in Japan -- are linked to the Internet.

"Suicide pacts are a very small proportion of suicides, and the number of Internet-linked suicides is still very small," he says. "I don't want people to be unduly alarmed."
Source: Daniel DeNoon, Rajagopal, S. British Medical Journal, Dec. 4, 2004; vol 329: pp 1298-1299. Sundararajan Rajagopal, MD, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, Adamson Center for Mental Health, St. Thomas's Hospital, London. Gerald Goodman, PhD, professor emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles.

What Can You Do To Stop It?

What should a young person do if they are bullied online or by text-messaging or interactive gaming devices? At what point should they tell a parent, ignore the bully (blocking them from further communications) or get the police involved? When can a school take action and what can it do in advance to give it greater authority when the actions bullying the student take place online and off of school grounds?

How do we help prevent the escalation of a bullying situation online? How do we spot the bullying websites early enough to prevent serious damage to the victim and potential bodily harm? What are the laws and what should they be? How can we get the ISP's help? And what can we do to shutdown a bullying message board, profile, guestbook or website?

I'll address these and other questions about bullying online here at Net and at . And if you need help, feel free to reach out to our help volunteers at We are the world's largest Internet safety and help group, comprised entirely of unpaid volunteers from around the world. We're here if you need us. To reach me, send me an e-mail to E-Mail.

Pediatric Emergency Department Visits for Mental Health Crisis: Prevalence of Cyber-Bullying in Suicidal Youth


The objective of this work is to (1) study the prevalence of cyber-bullying amongst adolescents referred by Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) for urgent psychiatric assessment and (2) to examine the association between cyber-bullying and suicidal behavior to assist emergency department professionals in screening for risk and triage. This is a retrospective study of patients referred by PED to an urgent psychiatric clinic. Data was extracted for those with bullying victimization. Clinical variables included demographics, reason for referral, type of bullying, substance use, abuse, past psychiatric history, diagnosis and outcome. The cyber-bullying group was compared to those with traditional bullying and a group with no-bullying. Data analysis was conducted using Chi squares, multinomial and bimodal logistic regression. The urgent psychiatric clinic assessed 805 patients in 24 months, the prevalence of bullying was 26.9 % (n = 217). The prevalence of Cyber-bullying was 13.5 % (n = 109) and traditional bullying was 13.4 % (n = 108). Cyber-bullying victims have more suicidal ideation (?² = 7.82, p = .005; 85.3 vs. 69.4 %), more sexual abuse (?² = 5.75, p = .02; 29.4 vs. 15.7 %), more emotional abuse (?² = 10.8, p = .01; 30.3 vs. 12.0 %) and physical abuse (?² = 6.13, p = .01; 27.5 vs. 13.9 %) and a higher inpatient admission rate. Suicidal ideation is the presenting problem in more than two-thirds of patients, especially females, with history of cyber-bullying who present to the PED. Screening questions about cyber-bullying could assist emergency room professionals in establishing risk and making triage decisions.


Dooley, J. J., Pyzalski, J., & Cross, D. (2009). Cyber-bullying versus face-to-face bullying: A theoretical and conceptual review. Journal of Psychology, 217, 182–188.

Gan, S. S., Zhong, C., Das, S., Gan, J. S., Willis, S., & Tully, E. (2011). The prevalence of bullying and cyber-bullying in high school: A 2011 survey. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 26, 27–31.

Goebert, D., Else, I., Matsu, C., Chung-Do, J., & Chang, J. Y. (2011). The impact of cyber-bullying on substance use and mental health in a multiethnic sample. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 15, 1282–1286.

Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2006). Bullies move beyond the schoolyard. A preliminary look at cyber-bullying. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 4, 148–169.

Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2009). Bullying beyond the schoolyard: Preventing and responding to cyber-bullying. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2010). Bullying, cyber-bullying, and suicide. Archives of Suicide Research, 14, 206–221.

Kaltiala-Heino, R., Rimpela, M., Marttunen, M., Rimpela, A., & Rantanen, P. (1999). Bullying, depression, and suicidal ideation in Finnish adolescents: school survey. British Medical Journal, 319, 348–351.

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Li, Q. (2005). New bottle but old wine: A research of cyber-bullying in schools. Computers in Human Behavior, 23, 1777–1791.

Mishna, F., Cook, C., Gadalla, T., Daciuk, J., & Solomon, S. (2010). Cyber-bullying behaviors among middle and high school students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80, 362–374.

Modecki, K. L., Minchin, J., Harbaugh, A. G., Guerra, N. G., & Runions, K. C. (2014). Bullying prevalence across contexts: A meta-analysis measuring cyber and traditional bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 55, 602–611.

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Olweus, D. (2012). Cyber-bullying: An overrated phenomenon? European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9, 1–19.

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Prince, S., Wilmore, J., Ali, A., Leikin, B., & Ray, R. (2011). Mental Health, School Climate and Bullying among Youth: Results from the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey 2009–2011

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Schneider, S. K., O’Donnell, L., Stueve, A., & Coulter, R. W. (2012). Cyber-bullying, school bullying, and psychological distress: A regional census of high school students. American Journal of Public Health, 102, 171–177.

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Longitudinal associations between cyber-bullying perpetration and victimization and problem behavior and mental health problems in young Australians

Forensic Mental Health Aspects of Adolescent “Cyber Bullying”: A Jurisprudent Science Perspective

Opportunistic Screening for Exposure to Bullying in the Pediatric Emergency Department

Pediatric Emergency Department Visits for Mental Health Crisis: Prevalence of Cyber-Bullying in Suicidal Youth


Professional Tennis Player Retires Following Cyber-Bullying Incident

Rebecca Marino, a 22-year-old professional tennis player from Canada, retired from the sport this week and cited cyber-bullying as a contributing factor. Marino was once ranked as high as 36th in the world.

“Cyber-bullying has taken it’s toll on me,” Marino told The Star. She went on to add that though it wasn’t the main reason for her retirement, it did exacerbate the situtation. “My depression had come way before the so-called cyberbullying,” she said.

Marino had received several offensive tweets recently, including ones that said, “go burn in hell” and “go die.”

On a conference call with reporters, Marino said “I am opening up to you all about this because I would like to get rid of the stigma attached not only to depression but also to mental illnesses both in the public and in professional sports. If I can share my story and change one person’s outlook or life, I have reached my goal.”

It’s a sad story and shows hows social media can really hurt people. Here’s hoping that Marino gets the help she needs and finds the happiness she’s looking for.

Teen Victims of Cyberbullying More Likely to Abuse Drugs and Alcohol: Study

Teens who are cyberbullied are more likely than their peers who are not harassed online or through cell phone messages to develop symptoms of substance abuse, depression and Internet addiction, a new study concludes.

Spanish researchers found victims of cyberbullying are at higher risk for psychological and behavioral health problems, including substance abuse, after six months of bullying, Health Behavior News Service reports.

Manuel Gamez-Guadix, PhD of the University of Deusto in Spain surveyed 845 teens, and found 24 percent had been a victim of one cyberbullying behavior, 15.9 percent had experienced two such behaviors, and 8 percent had experienced cyberbullying three times.

The researchers note in the Journal of Adolescent Health that cyberbullying is a growing problem among teens. It can include hurtful and harassing messages, rumors, inappropriate or fake photos and videos posted on social networking sites, or in text messages or emails.

Gamez-Guadix said, “It is important to include strategies to prevent cyberbullying within interventions for behavioral problems during adolescence. Mental health professionals should pay special attention to these problems in the treatment of victims of cyberbullying.”

If You Have Been Harassed Online: What to Do

1. Determine if the behavior is really harassment. Someone disagreeing with you is NOT harassment. Even if they disagree with you strongly. It is also usually not harassment if a person contacts you or posts about you once. Harassment consists of the intentional crossing of your emotional or physical safety boundaries. You must have boundaries set in place clearly in order for that to apply.

Here is the legal definition of harassment according to Black's Law Dictionary: "a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose" or "words, gestures, and actions which tend to annoy, alarm and abuse (verbally) another person."

This is of course a very broad definition which state and federal legislation and common law have narrowed and refined in various ways. However, for our purposes, we will define online harassment as any actions that meet the qualifications of the above definition after the harasser has been told to cease. This definition, due to its broadness, is useful in that it fails to put value judgements on the complaints of individuals.

2. Tell the harasser to STOP! Clearly tell the perpetrator that his/her email, posts, comments, IRC or ICQ communications are unwanted and that you want an immediate end to them. Sometimes the best approach to this is a simple, rational "I am sorry that you feel that way, but I really feel that you are crossing some boundaries for me here and I would prefer it if we ended our communication here."

3. Contact the site administrator. If the behavior persists, you may want to contact the administrator responsible for the site. Who is the site administrator and how do you locate them? S/he is the operator of the BBS, the sysadmin of the system on which the web-based chat or other server is placed, or in the case of email the sysadmin of the system that the person harassing you is mailing from.

Most often, sites have an address called postmaster@[that site].com or webmaster@[that site] that you can use to report problems. If that fails, you can usually find contact addresses at web sites , which you can find by looking up the host name in a search engine like Alta Vista or Lycos (to name just a couple) or you can look them up through the internic. Searching for sites in the USA [.com, .mil, .org, .edu, .us and .gov] will give you the full contact information including names and addresses. The site is... . Just type in the address after the "@" symbol.

4. Determine your desired result. What do you want to see happen in this situation? Try to think of this more rationally than emotionally, and try to be realistic about what you can expect.

Some very reasonable and realistic goals might be :

  • Stop the harasser from contacting you
  • Convince the site administrator to ban the harasser if s/he is doing this to many people or has a history of it.
  • Improve the climate at this site by raising awareness of harassment issues and convincing the site administrator to employ and enforce some anti-harassment policies.
  • Protect yourself emotionally and physically from the harasser
  • Some unrealistic goals might be:
  • Solicit an apology from the harasser. He/she obviously doesn't have the social skills necessary to do something this mature if he/she is harassing you to begin with.
  • Shut down the system completely. You might really be angry at the whole thing and want to do this, but unless there is a culture of harassment on that system, or unless the administrator has an itchy trigger finger, this is not so easy to do. It isn't impossible however in extreme cases.
  • Harass the harasser until he/she is sorry. This is possible in some cases, but it is not in keeping with rational thinking. Of course you are angry, and you want to see the person who is hurting you hurt as well. This is a natural human reaction. But take a step back and think about what that would really accomplish. It would only perpetuate a culture of harassment, and this is the exact thing we want to stop so that others do not have to feel as hurt and upset as you do right now.

5. Take care of you first. In spite of what some people may say to you, words can hurt a lot. No matter what decisions you make about dealing with harassment, put your own emotional needs first. Sometimes you may want to simply walk away, and that's alright. There are times that we are too vulnerable to fight a battle. Get yourself into some safe places, talk it out with friends or ask me for a referral to organizations and/or professionals that can help you work through this.

6. Decide how you want to proceed. If you feel that no progress has been made after attempts to contact and educate the site administrator, you may feel that you want to pursue the matter in some other way. I can make suggestions and refer you to other sources if that is your desire at that time.

Top Ten Mistakes

Not listening to your intuition. As countless stories reveal, you need to keep your internal radar tuned to pick up signals that something might be wrong.

Letting someone down easy, instead of saying a definitive NO if your not interested in a relationship. Trying to be nice can lead a potentially obsessive suitor to hear what he wants instead of the message that your not interested.

Ignoring the early warning signs that annoying attention might escalate into dangerous harassment and pursuit.

Responding to a stalker in any way, shape or form. That means not acceding to your stalkers demands even once he or she has introduced threats.

Trying to reason or bargain with a stalker. Stalking is a like a long rape.

Seeking a restraining or protective order. All to often, this one act propels stalkers to act violently.

Expecting police to solve your problems and make it go away. Even the LAPD's Threat Management Unit says that victims have to take 100 percent responsibility for their dealing with the situation.

Taking inadequate privacy and safety precautions.

Neglecting to enlist the support of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, therapists and other victims. It may be tough to admit you're being stalked, but it's not your fault. Learn how to gather the people who will constitute your first line of defense.

Ignoring your emotional needs during and after a stalking. Do you know how to get support you need?

Simple Avoidance Tactics

Be Careful Who You Talk To. The greatest thing about the Internet is that you can talk to people you might never have been able to talk to in any other way. Even if there's no immediate threat of physical danger on the Internet, you still have to be careful who you talk to. You don't have to be nice to everyone, you don't have to get into a conversation with everyone who demands your attention, and you don't have to answer unsolicited e-mail, even if it's mail telling you how nice your Web page looks. If you feel at all uncomfortable with the conversation you're having with someone online, you have every right to stop all communication.

Be Even More Careful Who You Decide To Meet In Person. Friendships and professional relationships you start online can be special, beneficial relationships. But it's very difficult to predict what someone is like in person just from some text, GIF or video of them. Someone may seem normal on the phone even when they aren't. Be extra careful when you bring your online friendships offline. For your first meeting, bring a friend and/or meet in a public place.

Stalk Yourself. From your user ID to what Internet directories say about you--check all the information about you that could possibly be online. Every time you put a piece of personal information into someone else's hands, you are giving them power over you. Be careful where you send your real name, address, phone number, picture, or work history. Think about whether you really want your full resume on the Web. Every person has to weigh the benefits and risks and decide what personal information they want to put online. The trick is to know what's out there and how to hide that information if you need to.

Checklist on your Personal Information.

Is your user ID obviously female? How much of your name does it reveal?

Check your .sig file for personal info such as your full name, address (even just city and state), workplace, and phone numbers. 

Have ICQ? Remove any information in your Global Directory (user's details) that could tell a person who you are or where you are. Check that the email address listed is not your personal email. Use one of the free one's on the internet.

Use finger to see what kinds of information might be listed about you, especially if you have a .edu account. If you think finger reveals too much about you, edit your .plan file or contact your system administrator for help.

Does your Web site contain a photo, a resume, your name, address, or phone numbers? Any information about friends, family, or the area where you live?

Check your source code to make sure registration information (like your name) hasn't been inserted by your HTML editor.

Internet directories. Remember six months ago when you put your resume on that BBS? Did you ever leave personal information at someone's Web site for all to see? Check Web/Usenet search engines (Alta Vista, WebCrawler) and 411 phone directories for your name.

Is your phone number listed in the local phone book? Your address? Could someone conceivably make a link between your online information and what's in the local phone directories?

How easy would it be for someone to find you at work? What kinds of security measures do you have there?

If It Does Happen

If you are getting unsolicited e-mail or other forms of communication from someone you don't know or have no contact with, your best defense is to just ignore it. If the harasser doesn't have much of a personal image to latch onto, they may detach and go on to someone else. But don't let it go too far hoping the person will give up. Take precautions now in case it gets ugly later.

1. Archive Every Piece of Communication Relating to the Situation: Save every piece of communication you get from this person. Save all of the e-mail header information you can if it is an e-mail or newsgroup posting. If you are getting chat requests, ICQ or IRC messages, or any other type of communication, take a screenshot, print it out, and write notes on it. Send copies of each harassing communication to your postmaster and the harasser's provider.

Don't forget to save communications to postmasters, providers, system administrators, police, supervisors at work, and security specialists.

2. Start a Log. In addition to your archive of communications, start a log that explains the situation in more detail. Document how the harassment is affecting your life, and document what steps you're taking to stop it.

3. Tell Your Harasser To Cease and Desist. It is important that you contact your harasser directly telling him or her in simple, strong, and formal terms to stop contacting you. You must state that the communications are unwanted and inappropriate and that you will take further action if it does not stop. Don't worry about whether your letter sounds too harsh--make sure it's professional and to the point. CC: your postmaster and your harasser's. Archive the mail you have sent, and note that you sent it in your log.

After you send this mail, your communication to this person must stop. Any further communication can feed the situation. The harasser's behavior will be rewarded by your attention, so it will continue. Also, if the case goes to court, your harasser can report that the communication was going both ways, and it could damage your case. It is best to keep quiet no matter how tempted you are to defend yourself. It is important that you tell your friends not to communicate with the harasser in your defense for the same reasons.

4. Tell the Right People. If this person makes contact with you via video conferencing, notify the owners or reflector monitors (refmons) of the reflector sites you frequent. The refmons can assist you and watch for any inappropriate behavior. They may even remove him from the reflector and/or ban him. There is a network of refmons out there and word can be passed on about harassment from a particular person.

Report the situation to your system administrator(s), your friends, family, and coworkers. Tell your supervisor and work security personnel. Tell your apartment building's security people. Report the situation to your local police. The FBI will also take down a complaint, and they'll follow up on it if they have the manpower.

5. Take Police Action. Many states have modified their stalking laws to include electronic communications. Many states will let you file for a restraining order in cases like this, and the courts will often let you ask that your harasser pay for any filing fees. You'll need the person's address if you want to serve them with a restraining order or press charges against them. The police can get this information from the harasser's postmaster if they need to.

6. Protect Your Online Space. Change your password frequently. Pay attention to your files, directories, and last logout information. Monitor information about yourself on the Net with Alta Vista and other search engines. You might want

to lay low for a while if the person is haunting you in Usenet or on IRC.

7. Protect your offline space. Take all the precautions you would if an old boyfriend was acting crazy, especially if you think the person can find you at home or at work.

Related Facing History Resources:

Related NIOS Videos:

Students Take On Cyberbullying


CyberStalking Links


Parenting Online:

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