By Noel Young
Last updated at 3:56 PM on 22nd October 2010
Cyber-bullying is the biggest fear U.S. parents have for the safety of their children, a survey claims.
Researchers found almost one in three adults with youngsters aged 12 to 17 worry more about bullying - especially via mobile phones - than kidnapping, domestic terrorism, car accidents, or suicide.
There have been a spate of cyber-bullying cases across the U.S. in recent months.
In Massachusetts a 15-yr-old girl recently arrived from Ireland, committed suicide after relentless cyber-bullying at school.
Afraid: Wendy Sachs, editor-in-chief of, said 'Social media networks and cell phones are making bullying more anonymous. That is the new danger. Parents are genuinely afraid.'
Two out of three parents questioned thought increased use of texting, social media and the playing of more violent video games had resulted in 'meaner behaviour' among their children
Two out of three parents questioned also thought increased use of texting, social media and the playing of more violent video games had resulted in 'meaner behaviour' among their children.
Of parents with children under 12, more than one in four (27 per cent) said they were most afraid of bullying and cyber-bullying, with kidnapping only slightly higher (30 per cent).
In New York, one in three parents (31 per cent) even cited bullying as a greater fear than terrorism (19 per cent) despite the World Trade Centre attacks less than ten years ago.
The survey was commissioned by, a website that offers babysitting and nanny services.
The survey reported that three-quarters of parents were now monitoring their children's text messages and social media as a result of bullying and cyberbullying fears.
More than one in three of the parents surveyed said they had encouraged their schools to create anti-bullying schemes and have teachers address bullying as well.
Wendy Sachs, editor-in-chief of, said 'Mean kids and bullies are not new, but social media networks and cell phones are making bullying more anonymous. That is the new danger. Parents are genuinely afraid.'
Comments (11)
Here's what readers have had to say so far.The comments below have not been moderated.
Cyber bullying can always be met with good old fashioned physical violence, if the bully is traced. Never met a bully yet who likes being physically hurt.

It wasn't that long ago that kids were taught on their first day at school, if someone hits you or tries to bully you, hit them back twice as hard. It works but in our "enlightened" times this may not be acceptable behaviour!

Bullies are inadequate cowards whose parents are probably much the same (if they have two parents in the first place). It surprises me that US parents haven't started law-suits to combat bullying. They would sue for everything else.
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There's a simple answer to cyber-bullying: TURN OFF THE COMPUTER!
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That is why there needs to be some new internet laws passed and let's stop making a mockery out of the first amendment. Attacking children and adults for that matter is not covered by the first amendment. People are just looking for an excuse to attack others. How would any of you feel if your child committed suicide due to cyberbullying? I have to mention one company that often gets overlooked when it comes to cyberbullying but is far worse than facebook and others is a company called Topix. Do a google search for Topix-human sexuality forum or Topix-AFAM forum among others and you will get the idea.
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I think if we are going to call it 'cyberbullying' then it would only be fair to call the reaction 'cyberfear'
I looked at the survey on the site. I imagine the questioning went something like this:
"Which do you fear more, cyberbullying, your child committing suicide, or something else."
Being the lazy Americans we are, we don't exactly know what to do when the government isn't doing our thinking for us... so we don't even bother pondering the 'other' option. Too many brain cells to use. So, believing that our child doesn't desire to commit suicide, cyberbullying is the only option left... we choose that one...

Had the question been posed to include many more options, I am sure the results would have been far different.
For instance, what about drug use? What about teen pregnancy? What about economic hardship as the economy declines? I really, really, really doubt that cyberbullying is the #1 fear of American parents.
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It is time we realized cyberbullying (and bullying) is a major problem. To say "ignore it" is not that simple. If it gets out over the internet many people feel hopeless and it can in fact cost you a job or your reputation. I am always amused when cowards attack someone else and claim they should be able to because they are protected. What about protection for the victim who often times has done nothing wrong but someone wants to cause them trouble or ask the parent who has had a child commit suicide over faceless bullying. New laws need to be passed to treat bullying and cyberbullying like the crimes they are and to hold internet companies responsible when they are part of the problem. Websites like My Yearbook and Topix promote hatred.