Study: 41% of Israeli teens cyberbullying victims

Experts in suicide prevention say the 'real data' is even higher - with 200 suicide attempts per year linked to the phenomenon.

Tova Dvorin ,

Facebook (illustration)
Facebook (illustration)

A full 45% of Israeli children and teenagers have participated in online bullying, the Public Security Ministry revealed Sunday - and 41% said they have experienced cyberbullying, or "shaming," more than once. 

Of those, 18% did not report the incident. 

Professor Gil Saltzman, chairman of the Council for Suicide Prevention, said that the "real data" in the fight against cyberbullying is much more alarming. 

There are 200 suicide attempts due to cyberbullying every year, he told Army Radio - just 1/10 of data reported in the field because many cases remain unreported to the Israel Police. 

Many of the victims are "teenagers in need." 

"These can be very difficult situations," he said. "They are on the very edge, and they won't tell their friends or adults." 

"In 60% of cases, [the victim's] friends knew about [the plan for] suicide and did not seek help," he added. "We need an education campaign to get young people to tell. This isn't 'informing' - it's saving lives." 

Israeli data is similar to cyberbullying statistics in the US. According to the iSafe organization, well over 50% of American youth have experienced cyberbullying - and well over 50% have also been active participants. Only 10% of cyberbullying victims tell their parents about the incident.