Sitting by the computer
One in three young people have been abused online, and the numbers don't seem to improve. Credit: Christine Olsson/TT

One in three kids face abuse online: report

5:12 min

One in three young people aged between 10 and 16 have been abused online, according to a survey from the anti-bullying organisation Friends. The good news is, however, that more young people are seeking help from adults to combat the problem.

"The numbers are quite still [static] actually, they're not increasing and they're not decreasing," Olle Cox, one of the report's author's tells Radio Sweden.

"Thirty-seven per cent of girls say that they have - at some point during the past year - been abused via a mobile phone, a tablet or a computer. For boys the number is 27 per cent. And "abused" is defined as "somebody saying or doing something that has made you feel sad, hurt or worthless," explains Cox.

Thirty-six per cent of girls, and 27 per cent of boys in the older age group said that they had been sexually harassed online.

One problem is that there are still very few criminal convictions for online abuse, but Friends welcomed proposed new legislation against online abuse, introducing a new category of crime that would punish the unlawful infringement of privacy.

The organisation hopes that this will support the wider awareness of and work against internet bullying.

The survey does identify one positive development, Kox says.

"Among the older age group, adolescents aged 13-16, talk to an adult at home more frequently if something happens online. This number is 13 per cent higher this year [...] which makes us really, really happy, because this is one of the key factors in beating cyber bullying and decreasing online harassment," Cox says.

A total of 1,015 people took part in the survey, with 423 of correspondents aged 10-12 years, and 592 aged 13-16. It is the fourth consecutive year that the survey has been conducted. 


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