TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 20, 2014) - Overheard during a recent subway ride in Toronto: "I mean like it's like death by social media, you know what I mean?" The speaker was a male student, perhaps 12-14 years old.

According to Prevnet, a network of Canadian researchers and organizations committed to end bullying, 94% of Canadian youth have a Facebook account and 7 out of 10 websites visited are social media sites. 25% admit to cyberbullying behaviour and 1 in 3 report that they have been cyberbullied. These statistics are sobering and frightening. As are the findings of a 2011 Harvard School of Public Health study, namely that 60% of former school bullies had been convicted of a criminal charge at least once by age 24 and that male bullies are nearly four times as likely as non-bullies to grow up to physically or sexually abuse their female partners.

"Whether it's traditional bullying or cyberbullying, the short and long term effects can be devastating and tragic," says Colin Robertson, Vice President Operations and Risk Control at Ecclesiastical. "As a specialist insurer working with schools, faith and retirement communities, we urge our customers to develop comprehensive prevention and intervention programs, to foster environments based on respect and understanding, and to send out a clear message that bullying in any form is not to be tolerated."

Ecclesiastical was a joint funding partner of Kids Help Phone's Gender-Bread initiative, an online resource to help young people who face personal and social difficulties as they question and explore their sexual identity. "We are very proud of this partnership," Robertson says, "as it reflects our ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of vulnerable young people, many of whom are easy targets for the bullies in their midst."

About Ecclesiastical Insurance
Founded in 1887 and with offices in Canada since 1972, Ecclesiastical Insurance is a specialist insurance provider. Working closely with the national independent broker network, Ecclesiastical provides customized insurance solutions and services to faith organizations, retirement communities, education facilities, arts & culture institutions, funeral service providers and registered charities and non-profit groups.

Contact Information:

Colin Robertson
Vice President, Operations and Risk Control
Phone: 416-484-3984