This, according to a 2018 Ipsos Global Advisor study conducted in 28 countries, confirmed that South Africa topped the stats of this form of bullying.
Insurance company 1st for Women said a recent study among 4000 participants “reinforces the magnitude of this growing problem, with 64% of the participants believing that children are at risk”.
Last week, a 13-year-old learner at Doornpoort Primary School in Pretoria committed suicide after falling prey to cyber-bullying.
The Gauteng Department of Education said a Grade 7 learner threatened to distribute an inappropriate picture of the deceased Grade 6 pupil via WhatsApp. The bullying continued for over a week.
Scandal actress Mvelo Makhanya was also targeted by cyber-bullies last week. She was mocked for her “big head”, and broke down on social media.
Cyber-bullying expert and founder of SaveTNet Cyber Safety, Rianette Leibowitz, said: “Besides the alarming statistics, cyber-bullying has been the cause of many young people going as far as taking their own lives”
1st for Women’s Casey Rousseau said the extent of cyber-bullying in South Africa had prompted the women-centric insurer to launch the “first cyber-bullying insurance product in South Africa, which addresses the financial as well as legal burden of cyber-bullying”.
“Cyber-bullying is a crime - a hate crime that sees no sign of abating, due to its ease.
“Bullies can hide behind the screen or a cellphone, and it can be completely anonymous.
“Also, in many instances, legal intervention is needed to put a stop to the bullying and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Rousseau. @smashaba