Sadly, bullying is a part of life for many. At school, at work and on social media platforms, many children and adults are badly affected by bullying on a daily basis.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance, supported by SafeToNet, works hard throughout the year to tackle bullying head on. It works closely with schools and teachers to help stop bullying and create a safe environment for children and young people to grow, explore and develop.
The facts and figures
The latest anti-bullying research carried out by Ditch the Label, surveyed over ten thousand people in the U.K. aged between 12 and 20 years old. The 2017 report revealed that 54% of respondents claimed they had been bullied at some point in their lives. By far the greatest ‘reason’ for being bullied was due to appearance - accounting for 50% of bullying in the last year.
The impact of bullying on individuals is far-reaching. Those who are bullied often experience high levels of anxiety and depression. In severe cases it can lead to suicidal thoughts and self-harm.
We can’t underestimate the consequences of bullying on our young people and we need to be on the ball and take a proactive approach.
All Different, All Equal
This year’s Anti-Bullying Week, running from 13th to 17th November is focused on promoting difference and equality in schools. Throughout the year the Alliance works hard to educate us on issues surrounding bullying and encourage pupils, teachers and parents to take action. The main aims of this years ‘All Different, All Equal’ theme are to:
Empower children and young people to celebrate what makes them, and others, unique
Help children and young people understand how important it is that every child feels valued and included in school, able to be themselves, without fear of bullying
Encourage parents and carers to work with their school and talk to their children about bullying, difference and equality
Enable teachers and other children’s workforce professionals to celebrate what makes us ‘all different, all equal’ and celebrate difference and equality. Encouraging them to take individual and collective action to prevent bullying, creating safe environments where children can be themselves.
What can we do?
Being open about issues about bullying is a great place to start. It’s important that schools and other child-centred environments operate an open discussion policy. Like most things, the problem only gets worse when we’re in denial. Of course, we’d all prefer to think bullying didn’t happen, but it does and the only way we can tackle it, is head on.
This video from the Pauline Quirke Academy highlights how important it is to create an environment in which these difficult issues can be openly discussed.
Secrecy breeds shame - and the only shame here is that we haven’t managed to get rid of bullying entirely and it’s unlikely we ever will.
Open discussions in school and at home are key to stop the escalation of bullying where it does occur, and reduce the impact on our young people who are affected.
Let’s keep talking about bullying and hopefully one day, we’ll discuss it into oblivion.
We take bullying very seriously at Barracudas. We always take action at the earliest possible stage if any level of this behaviour seems to be developing during our camp sessions. We fully support the ‘All Different, All Equal’ campaign and actively promote these themes at our camps.