Bullying, safer internet day and Gen Z: 65% suffer violence

THEL 65% of the young people he claims to have been victim of violence that’s a huge percentage. But it rises to 70% if we consider the responses of girls and 83% among those who define themselves as non-binary. It drops to 56% among males. These are the data from the Indifesa Observatory of Terre des Hommes, which since 2014 has been listening to the voices of Italian boys and girls on discrimination, bullying, cyberbullying and sexting.

Cyberbullying and bullying, what are the differences between this violent phenomenon

Gen Z and bullying, 65% have suffered violence. Terre des Hommes data

Created together with OneDay and the ScuolaZoo community, the report involved over 4,000 boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 26 and was presented in view of Safer Internet Day on 6 March. But if cyberbullying and internet safety are certainly central issues, iThe web is perceived as the place where one is most likely to be a victim of violence (39% of responses) especially for girls, but only after school (66%).

Violence still has an important margin of reality.

Verbal and physical violence at school and on the street

However, it is not surprising that among the acts of violence most reported by girls there is catcalling, or unwanted comments of a sexual nature received from strangers in public places, at 61% (for males only at 6%, in general at 40%) and sexual harassment at 30% (at 7 for males , 23% overall). All types show higher percentages among those who define themselves as non-binary: psychological or verbal violence and bullying (80%), cat calling (66%), sexual harassment (36%), cyberbullying (27%). Among physical violence, which 46.5% of children witnessed, the most frequent were assaults (68%) and harsh pranks (63%).

Online risks, from revenge porn to cyber bullying

The greatest risk you can run into online, for 56% of kids, is cyberbullying. This is followed by revenge porn (45%), identity theft, loss of privacy (35%), solicitation by strangers (35%), harassment (30%), alienation from real life ( 25%), stalking (23%), loneliness (9%) and feeling marginalized (6%). However, less than 1% believe that there are no risks on the web.

Because we become victims

The main reasons why one finds oneself in the uncomfortable and painful shoes of the victim are physical appearance and sexual orientation (79% and 15%), economic condition (11%), ethnic and geographical origin (10.5%), gender identity (9%), disability (5%) and religion (4%).

The consequences of violence on young people: social anxiety, eating disorders, depression

The consequences of this violence on the subjects are diverse and serious. The first is the loss of self-esteem, security and trust in others, found by 75% of young people. But 47% say they suffer from social anxiety and panic attacks as a product of this peer violence. 45% report isolation and distancing from peers. But difficulty concentrating and difficulty in concentrating can also be consequences of a state of perpetual fear low academic performance (28%), depression (28%), fear and refusal of school (24%), i food disorders (24%), theself-harm (20%).

In a context in which the mental health of young people is increasingly at risk, these are data that should be alarming.

Gen Z considers the web dangerous and asks for more rules

However, one fact can be read in a positive way, and it is Gen Z’s perception of the web as a place with many potential dangers, on which greater control should be exercised. To prevent violence that comes from the internet, for 6 out of 10 kids, greater regulation would be useful. Only 8% would see this as a risk to their personal freedom. However, it is very significant to note that 30% think that greater regulation would not lead to any changes in terms of protection.

The adult world can only try. Paolo Ferrara, General Director of Terre des Hommes Italia explains it: «Adopting stringent rules that can prevent and limit online violence is increasingly fundamental. Today it’s the same boys and girls who ask us. And it is our duty to listen to them, and continue to dialogue with them to raise awareness of these aspects, because they are the first victims of increasingly violent and increasingly pervasive online language and attitudes.” Hence the proposal for legislative reform to guarantee more effective protection for victims of online crimes.