The Social Policy Research Centre was commissioned by the Australia Government, as part of its commitment to Enhance Online Safety for Children, to investigate youth exposure to cyberbullying and how it is being managed. The report was developed in collaboration with National Children’s and Youth Law Centre, the University of South Australia, the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, and the University of Western Sydney.
The research shows that each year, one in five young Australians aged 8–17 are victims of cyberbullying. This behaviour is most prominent in children aged 10–15 years, with prevalence decreasing for 16–17 year-olds. The estimated number of children and young people who were victims of cyberbullying last year was approximately 463,000, with around 365,000 in the 10–15 age group. The report also notes that the prevalence of cyberbullying has 'rapidly increased' since it first emerged as a behaviour.
The report indicates that the most appropriate way of addressing cyberbullying is to introduce a series of responses including restorative approaches, educating young people about the consequences of cyberbullying, and requiring social networking sites to take down offensive material.