Cyber ​​bullies preying on 80% of girls with some pressured to share naked pictures


Survey by Girlguiding charity shows the horrific scale of cyber-bullying against girls and young women, and it’s causing anxiety, depression and low self-esteem

A girl looking distressed by a laptop
Most young women suffer some form of online abuse, shock figures show

A shocking survey shows nearly 80% of young women and girls were cyber-bullying victims in the past year.

It discovered about one in five had received unsolicited explicit pictures and been pressured to share naked shots of themselves.

It also found a third had been sexually harassed online and three-quarters of the 2,000 females, aged 13-21, felt anxious, depressed and lacking in self-confidence.

The survey was by charity Girlguiding, which met MPs and is calling on the Government for new laws to tackle online violence against women and girls included in the Online Safety Bill.

The bill is intended to make tech providers more accountable and improve Ofcom regulation.

Girlguiding wants government action to protect girls online


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This week, it was announced it will be strengthened to require all websites that publish pornography to now verify the age of users.

Girlguiding member Francoise Labode, 22, said the Government must prioritize protecting girls and young women from online harm. She said: “Sadly, our statistics are not that surprising. Online harm is an issue faced by the majority of young women.

“As a young woman who has grown up with the internet, Girlguiding’s research resonates with me. I’ve seen friends receive unwelcomed comments, sexual images and messages online.

“I’ve seen members of my peer group very upset as a result of bullying – and this needs to stop.”

Girlguiding chief exec Angela Salt added: “Girlguiding believes girls and young women should be able to use the internet freely, safely and without fear. Sadly, our research highlights that there is still a long way to go before this is reality.

“This is why we are calling on the Government to ensure violence against girls and women online, and its devastating impact, is recognized and included within the Online Safety Bill.”

Vile sex texts sent to girl, 11

A child of 11 was besieged with messages from girls at her school saying she had carried out sex acts on boys.

Eva was also told: “If we were as ugly as you we would kill our parents and kill ourselves.” Mum Emma, ​​41, found them when she noticed Eva withdrawing.

Emma said: “I looked at her phone. The messages were utterly vile. To see Eva crying reading them broke my heart. She didn’t see some of the worst ones as I took her phone away. She would barely leave her room and was refusing to leave the house.”

Even when the family moved from Boston, Lincs, to Whitby, North Yorks, and blocked the girls, Eva was still receiving some nasty comments via mutual friends on social media.

The messages started when Eva was nine. Emma, ​​who taught Eva how to block content, said parents need to “spend more time checking their children’s phones”.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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