One in six Dutch girls bullied online

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A sixth of Dutch girls between the ages of 15 and 18 years are being bullied online, according to figures released by statistics Netherlands on Thursday. More than 400 Dutch people over the age of 15 years deal with this problem every year.

Women more often fall victim to cyber bullying than men. 3.4 percent of Dutch women experience online bullying, compared to 2.9 percent of men. The only form of cyber bullying that affect more men than women is threats of violence - 0.6 percent of men experience this, compared to 0.5 percent of women. All other forms, including slander, stalking and blackmail, affect more women.

Cyber bullying is most common among young people. More than 15 percent of girls between the ages of 15 and 18 are bullied online, more than double the number of boys this age. In the age group 18 to 21 years, 10 percent of women are being bullied and 7 percent of men. Statistics Netherlands partly attributes this to girls being more active on social network sites like Facebook and Twitter, which often serve as a platform for online bullying.

Non-western minority women are more often the victim of cyber bullies than Dutch women or women with another western nationality. 4.6 percent of women with a non-western nationality are being bullied online, compared to 3.3 percent of Dutch women and 3.1 percent of other women with a western nationality.  Among men there is very little difference between the nationalities.

When it comes to men being bullied online, sexual orientation plays a bigger role than nationality. Gay and bisexual men are more often the victim of online bullies - 5.5 and 4.9 percent respectively - than heterosexual men, 2.9 percent. In women there is no difference in the sexual orientation of the victims.

Women more frequently know who is bullying them online - 70 percent of women and 59 percent of men. Many women are being harassed by an ex-partner. Women are also slightly more likely to be bullied by a colleague or classmate.