A third of kids face cyberbullying

All the worst bits of school life are moving online, with one in three kids facing online bullying, according to a new survey.

Charity Beatbullying surveyed 2,000 kids and teens, finding that intimidation had moved to the digital world through text messages, mobile phone pranks, and social networking sites.

While one in three kids were subject to such abuse from their peers, teenage girls were four times as likely to be affected than their male counterparts.

Emma Jane Cross, chief executive of Beatbullying, said in a statement: "Clearly, cyber bullying is a growing problem affecting millions of children across the UK and to date efforts to tackle the epidemic have fallen short."

The survey also found that 44 per cent of young people would be willing to take online advice from mentors or peers on the issue. With that in mind, Beatbullying has launched its CyberMentors programme, an online peer-mentoring social networking site where young people can seek such advice from 700 of their trained peers. If cases are too severe, kids will be refered to a "cyber counsellor".

In order to become a CyberMentor, students must pass a five-stage training course on how to offer support on bullying over social networks, email, instant messanger and text messaging.

Cross said: "CyberMentors is the direct result of feedback given by the young people we have been working with in schools and communities across the country for the past seven years."