Parents Corner Blog

Results of the 2012 National School Violence Study now available

The Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP) have recently released the results of the 2012 National School Violence Study.  The authors of the study noted particularly that even though cyber violence was not confined to any particular physical environment (i.e. schools), the study results did highlight the relationship between online and offline violence. They further commented that this suggests that cyber violence is only one part of a broader spectrum of violence affecting learners in South Africa.  The study goes on to say that “One in five (20%) scholars had experienced some form of cyber bullying or violence in the past year. While concerning, these figures show that cyber violence is not the epidemic that many believe it to be – it is still less prevalent than other forms of school violence.”

We would like to bring your attention to Chapter 5 of the study, which deals specifically with online violence. The key findings from this chapter include:

  • A total of 81.1% of learners owned or had access to a mobile phone.
  • More than half (54.3%) of the learners owned or had access to a computer, laptop or tablet computer.
  • Access to telephony or internet services was ubiquitous across area type.
  • In total, 20.9% of the learners in this study reported an experience of online violence.
  • Experiences of online violence were highest among learners from metropolitan areas.
  • The aggressors in the online violence reported were largely friends of the victims.
  • Online violence was typically perpetrated through means of pictures or video clips (35.3%), instant messaging platforms such as Mxit, BBM, WhatsApp or MSN/Yahoo (27.2%) and simple text messages (14.7%).
  • More than a tenth (12.1%) of learners reported ever having met someone offline whom they had first met online.
  • Friends were by far the most common individuals informed about the online violence encountered by these victims.
  • Experience of online violence was strongly associated with the perpetration of similar behaviours.
  • Overall, the findings in this chapter demonstrate that although online violence is significant enough to warrant attention, it is neither an epidemic nor rapidly exceeding the extent of offline bullying, as is commonly believed.

For access to the full study, please visit the CJCP website here: http://cjcp.skinthecat.co.za/articlesPDF/65/Monograph12-School-violence-in-South%20Africa.pdf 

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