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The socialization of bullies

Hitting send can devastate. Bullies have moved from the playground to mobile screens, and with the proliferation of smartphones, there’s no escape.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police website, bullying happens when there is an imbalance of power; where someone purposely and repeatedly says or does hurtful things to someone else. “Cyberbullying involves the use of communication technologies such as the Internet, social networking sites, websites, email, text messaging and instant messaging to repeatedly intimidate or harass others,” notes rcmp-grc.gc.ca

There is legislation in place – Bill C-13, implemented to help combat online harassment by making it illegal to distribute intimate images of a person without their consent, was first introduced in late 2013 by the federal Conservatives, and is now in effect.

But stats continue to shock: Cybervictimization is on the rise, particularly for teen girls, reports a new Boston study.

It’s a bigger threat than face-to-face bullying, report teens in a YouGov UK survey, and more of an issue than drug abuse.

According to Dr. Wendy Craig, of Prevnet, Canada’s resource for bullying prevention, 42% of youth aged 13-18 report being cybervictimized, and 10% report bullying others.

Read the full story in the Toronto Sun.