Although there is no exact translation for the word ‘bullying’ in Spanish, the country itself appears to have a problem with it.
Spanish NGO Cooperación Internacional has found more than a third of Spanish children aged 11 to 18 have at least on one occasion threatened or played a humiliating prank on a schoolmate.
“Cyberbullying is a bigger threat to Spanish minors at this stage,” Gonzalo Santamaría, head of Spain’s BeatBullying campaign, told The Local.
“If the country’s 16 percent cyberbullying rate is higher than the European average, it’s mainly because of the ready availability of new technologies that young Spaniards enjoy.”
Santamaría heads the Spanish branch of a pan-European campaign to provide bullying victims with support through an online platform and a team of teenage ‘cyber-mentors’.
“It used to be easier for parents to monitor what their children were doing online as they could only access the internet from their desktops at home.
“Now that they can connect from pretty much anywhere and are constantly uploading content and posting messages, it’s harder for them to keep an eye on what they’re doing or receiving.”
Santamaría told The Local that most European countries have a similar bullying rate and that BeatBullying’s campaign was geared towards preventing a potentially serious problem in modern day society rather than solving it.
“Bullying is no longer child’s play,” he added.
“With cyberbullying, the attackers can never feel sorry for their victims as they sometimes do face to face.”