Fact #3: Only 40 percent of cyberbullying victims report it to their parents, and only 30 percent report it to a teacher.
One reason why cyberbullying persists is due to the victim not wanting to report the harassment. Unfortunately, less than half of all cyberbully victims report it to an adult6.
Without adult intervention, cyberbullying will likely continue and the harmful consequences will worsen. Parents, in particular, can take several important actions if they become privy to this type of bullying. One of the most important steps is ensuring that their son or daughter is heard and feels safe. Kids and teens can begin healing if a parent is supportive and not dismissive of a reported situation.
In order to end the bullying, parents may also need to meet with a school administrator or, if the situation warrants it, the parents of the offender. Police can be contacted if a crime has been committed.
Because cyberbullying is public in nature and any information posted is permanent, it can lead to long-term consequences. A negative online reputation can impact future opportunities for education, employment, and more for both the offender and the victim. Working with an internet service provider or phone service provider to investigate and possibly remove the offensive material can help mitigate the damage. For example, upon request, search engines like Google will now remove any nude or sexually explicit material that has been posted7.
Clearly, children and teens can increase their chance for a healthy recovery if they report the bullying behavior to an adult, assuming the adult takes appropriate action.
Pro Tip: Looking for additional resources on how to prevent or stop cyberbullying? Check out our cyberbullying resources page, where you can find loads of podcasts, blogs, books, and organizations that deal with the topic.