THE HSBC’s research found that 29.2 per cent of Irish school children have reported being bullied.

Keeping children safe online

Listen to your child if they are a victim of bullying

THERE are no black eyes, bumps, or bruises to visually identify a victim of cyberbullying.

The traditional in-person bullying, which can be physical, verbal, and social in nature, hasn’t gone away in schools. Its cloak and dagger cousin, cyberbullying, has been on the scene for several years now.

Cyberbullying is mostly done on social media platforms like Facebook and Snapchat and WhatsApp.

Dr Mairéad Foody is an Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Galway. Her work has also led her to DCU, where she is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Anti-Bullying Centre.

“A common definition of cyberbullying – at least in research and academia – is one by Smith and Colleagues from 2018. They defined it as ‘negative or hurtful, repetitive behaviour, by the means of electronic communication tools, which involve an imbalance of power with the less-powerful person or group being unfairly attacked’,” said Dr Foody.

“This definition is like the one for face-to-face bullying and it is important to point out that the ‘repetitive’ element can refer to how often something is viewed by others.

“For some victims of cyberbullying, the isolation they feel does seem to be exacerbated, especially if they are not sure who the perpetrator is, and the experience isn’t clear for everyone to see (like with face-to-face bullying).

“When it comes to image sharing, the experience of having your image out there and not knowing who or where it is seen can also be a sinister experience unique to cyberbullying.”

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