Dutch girls face cyber bullying twice as often as boys

Over 12 percent of Dutch girls between the ages of 15 and 18 years have been bullied online, almost twice as many as boys in the same age group, Statistics Netherlands reported based on figures from the Safety Monitor. The total number of Netherlands residents over the age of 15 that faced cyber bullying remained stable at 3 percent between 2014 and 2016. That is about 400 thousand people, ANP reports.

The most common form of online bullying among Dutch teens is defamation - malicious texts, photos, videos and gossip posted on social media sites or online forums. Last year 4 percent of teenagers faced this type of cyber bullying in the Netherlands. After defamation, stalking, threats and blackmail are the most commonly occurring forms of online bullying. 

In nearly 50 percent of the cases, cyber bullying happens between students from the same school. Nearly 70 percent of victims said they were bullied by the same person online and offline. Young people rarely report online bullying to the authorities. Less than one in seven of the victims between the ages of 15 and 18 went to the police or another authority. 

Since 2015, schools in the Netherlands are obliged by law to fight bullying in an effective way. And this proved to be reasonably successful. Last year 10 percent of primary school children said that they were bullied, compared to 14 percent in 2014. In high schools bullying decreased from 11 percent in 2014 to 8 percent in 2016. 

Victims of bullying are more likely to have suicidal thoughts than their peers. The relationship between bullying and suicidal thoughts is stronger in the case of cyber bullying, according to the news wire.

This week is the Netherlands' National Week against Bullying. Cyber bullying the central topic on Monday.