The recent Ipsos Social Research Institute Survey of 24 countries found that Australia was a leader in the world of cyberbullying. Not a title to be proud of. We even beat the US, UK and China.

Those ahead of us were India, Indonesia, Sweden and Canada.

Ispsos director Ryan Williams said “According to parents, Australian children were less likely to experience bullying in an online chat room, via email, or on their mobile phone, compared to global averages – but were more likely than any other nation to experience bullying via social networking sites, such as Facebook.”

In the past bullying was confined to school hours, but with the explosion of use on social network sites by teenagers, it can now make its way into every student’s home and family life. No longer do they have the safe haven of parents, bricks and mortar to give them a sense of protection and safety.

Mr Dalgleish, Kids Helpline Manager of strategy and research, said

“Cyber bullying has a profound impact as it widens the audience (from school) and means it can be seen by anyone. It can be used as an extension of face-to-face bullying and takes it from the classroom and into a child’s own bedroom undermining their sense of safety and security.”

Bullying can result in chronic anxiety, depression, fear, anxiety, withdrawal from school and in the worst cases, self-harm.