A book entitled "Bullycide: Death at Playtime" by Neil Marr and Tim Field states that a child commits suicide as a result of bullying (referred to as bullycide) once every half hour. It also says that over 19,000 children attempt suicide every year due to the direct result of bullying.
A large number of these are cyber bullycide victims.
These victims are those children who suffer bullying attacks online. It is far more difficult to detect and therefore makes it difficult to intervene on the child's behalf.
It is found through surveys compiles by law enforcement agencies that one third of our children are victims of online bullying. One out of every three kids!
Unfortunately, the same survey shows us that only about 41 percent of those children who were victims never informed a parent, relative, teacher, or authority figure of the assault that took place.
Yes, I said assault! A cyber bully attack online can be devastating to a child. It only takes one occurrence to cause significant and long term effects that can affect your child's emotional well-being.
So just how do we counter such a danger to our children. The answers are not the same for each child or situation.
Obviously, bullying on the playground, school, neighborhood etc... can be controlled much more easily than the internet bullying that might take place.
This is because it will probably be observed by others and you will have a better chance of being made aware of the problem.
It will be much more difficult to take care of the problem if it occurs on the internet simply because it may be taking place and you have no idea what is going on.
There are some obvious tell-tale signs. The two most obvious are:
*Extreme depression, beyond the normal mood swings of children growing up, can definitely be a sign that you need to further investigate what is happening to your child.
*Extreme loss of self-esteem can also be a strong sign that some form of harassment or personal attacks are occurring in the form of bullying.
One thing for sure, if you notice either of the above symptoms, you need to take action immediately! You need to talk to your child and see what is going on.
If necessary do not hesitate to take them to a mental health professional for assistance in finding out why they are depressed or having self-esteem issues.
If we educate ourselves on the issues surrounding internet bullying and bullying we have a better chance of preventing teenage suicides caused by these dangers facing our children.