07 March 2024

Almost 20% of children have experienced online bullying, statistics show

07 March 2024

Nearly 20% of 10 to 15-year-olds have experienced online bullying and almost one in 10 teenagers have received a sexual message, according to statistics.

More than 92% of children go online daily, with 30% saying they use the internet “almost all the time”, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday.

The results of the 10 to 15-year-olds’ Crime Survey for England and Wales also showed almost one in five children had spoken online with someone they had never met in person.

The survey, which covered the year ending March 2023, found almost 35% of children asked had experienced in-person bullying, while 19.1% said they had been bullied online.

Girls were more likely to experience online bullying, with 22.5% reporting it compared to 16% of boys, the figures showed.

More than one in 10 of those who said they experienced it had received a nasty message about themselves, while 9.6% had been called names, sworn at or insulted.

The data showed that 9.5% of 13- to 15-year-olds had received a sexual message in the last year and 1.6% said they had sent one.

Of those who had received a sexual message, more than three-quarters had received more than one in the last year, while almost 13% said they had received more than 20.The most common types of sexual messages were photos or images and more than three-quarters of those asked said they had received them through social media.

The analysis found 19.2% of children had spoken to someone online they had never met in person before and 4.4% had met up with someone they had only spoken to online before.

According to the data, the time spent online by children had gone up, with 58.1% of youngsters spending three hours or more online on a school day, compared to 47.6% of those asked in March 2020.

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