Bullying affects the lives of thousands of people across the world each and every day and it affects these people in various different ways.
I feel as though bullying is one of those subjects that people tend to avoid. We don’t talk about being bullied, or how it had a long-term impact on our lives. Yet it happens to so many people on a daily basis, people of all ages, not just to school-aged children.
A charity known as Ditch The Label, have been conducting annual surveys in regards to bullying. These are full of facts and statistics around bullying, the reasons behind people being bullied, the impact that the bullying has on their mental health and how satisfied they were with the support that they received and much more. Let’s take a look at some of their findings from last years report:
Ditch The Label conducted a survey of over 2000 participants between the ages of 12 and 20.
When asked about their experience with bullying here is what they said:
– 22% stated that they have been bullied.
– 27% stated that they have witnessed others being bullied.
– 2% said that they themselves have bullied someone.
Those who had experienced bullying first-hand, were then asked how often the bullying occurred.
– 31% said that they were bullied at least once per week.
– 45% said that they were bullied at least once per month.
– 9% said that the bullying was on a daily basis.
Times have changed over the years and bullies now have the opportunity to torture their victims from behind a computer screen.
24% of participants said that they were worried about being abuse online.
Years ago, those who were bullied in school or at work, could escape from their bullies when they returned home. Nowadays, bullying often continues to take place via social media and harmful messages. This means that the victims of the bullying never get a break away from it, which can cause more upset and more stress.
There are different types of bullying that occurs:
- Verbal abuse
- Physical assault
- Cyber bullying (online)
- Social exclusion
Although people may believe that physical bullying is the worst form; the truth is, they can all be equally as damaging as each other.
Yes, physical assault harms the individual physically as well as mentally, but other forms of bullying can have a severe impact on mental health too.
Those who experienced bullying were asked how they felt as a result of the things that they had been subjected to:
– 45% said that they felt depressed
– 41% said that they felt anxious
– 33% said that they experienced suicidal thoughts
– 26% said that they self-harmed
Some of the other things that people stated included, avoiding school, developing anti-social behaviour, developing eating disorders, attempting suicide, running away from home, abusing drugs and/or alcohol and engaging in risky sexual behaviours.
It is important to remember that these effects are often long-term. Many of these effects can impact on a person’s day to day life, for example; they can effect their relationships with others, how they perform at work and much more.
In regards to reporting bullying, here are some of the statistics found by Ditch The Label:
72% of those who experienced bullying, said that they reported it, while 28% said that they did not tell anyone about it.
Out of those who reported the bullying, 92% said that they informed a teacher, with 62% of those people saying that they were satisfied with the support that they received.
Those who did not report the bullying stated that this was due to various reasons:
- 30% said they did not feel as though the bullying affected them enough for them to report it.
- 38% said they were scared that reporting it would only make it worse.
- 34% said that they were embarrassed.
- 17% said ‘My teachers do not care.’
- 26% said that they could handle it on their own.
- 24% said that they have reported it in the past and nothing happened, so they did not see the point in reporting it again.
- 31% said that they do not want to feel like a victim.
I do believe that we all need to stand together against bullying, that schools and work places should have stricter policies in place to deal with bullying, and that schools should be teaching children about bullying.
I also think that people who bully others also need support. In many cases, those who bully others have a lot going on in their own lives that lead them to act out in such a way. Therefore, I think that in school settings, when teachers punish bullies for their actions, they should also take the time to speak with them and try and get to the bottom of why the bullying is taking place.
This year has been difficult for a lot of people. We need to learn from these experiences, we need to look out for one another more, we need to support one another and be kind! You never know what a person is going through; so do not add to their pain and their problems.
If you would like to read more of Ditch The Labels findings, you can do so here.
Young Minds have a 24/7 text service for young people who are struggling with their mental health. All messages are answered by trained volunteers who are supported by clinical supervisors. You can contact them by texting YM to 85258
Young Minds also have a helpline for parents who are concerned about their children.
ChildLine is another great service for children who need help and support. They have a free phone line, a web chat and an email service. You can find all of their details here.
The Mix is a support service for young people under the age of 25. They offer various forms of support, from 1-2-1 chats via messenger, phone call or email, to group forums. You can find all of their details here.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance have shared some other helpful resources, which you can find here.