More than 1 million young Canadians victims of cyberbullying, cyberstalking: StatsCan

Almost one in every five Canadians has been a victim of online bullying or stalking, according to Statistics Canada.

Those 15 to 29 years old are most likely to be victims

Statistics Canada says more than one million Canadians have been victims of cyberbullying or cyberstalking. (Associated Press)

A report from Statistics Canada says almost one in every five young Canadians — about 1.1 million people — has been a victim of cyberbullying or cyberstalking.

Within that group of 15 to 29 year olds — the most likely age cohort to be cyberbullying victims — about one-third said they were victims of cyberbullying, another third said they were victims of cyberstalking, and another third said they had experienced both.

Being a victim of either cyberbullying or cyberstalking raises the risk of having a reported emotional, psychological or mental health condition and a low level of trust in people at school, work, or in the neighbourhood, the report says.

Cyberbullying victims generally reported mental health and trust issues, while cyberstalking victims were more likely to have taken steps to protect themselves from becoming victims of crime.

The researchers say that various trust, behavioural and mental health concerns may not be direct consequences of cyberbullying or cyberstalking.

The study marks the first time Statistics Canada has delved this deeply into the issue of cyberbullying, expanding on earlier work and bringing in effects that cyberstalking has on Canadians young and old.