Over 1000 11-16-year-olds took part in the survey leading up to Anti-Bullying Week (11-15 November 2019). Key findings in the report showed that 24% of children surveyed are victims of bullying once a week or more and 11% have missed school due to being bullied. A reported 3% of children surveyed are bullied on a daily basis.
Findings also showed that 14% of respondents have changed their route to school to avoid bullying and 19% have avoided spending time with friends to avoid bullying altogether. Social media and online gaming have also been avoided by 19% of respondents in an effort to shield themselves from online scrutiny.
According to the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s website, the report included recommendations for change from “tech companies, government, media, parents and schools”. Three-quarters of respondents felt that change could start with online platforms doing more to “change the way they address bullying”, with nearly half feeling that their schools should be doing more. Social media influencers also have the power to reduce bullying, according to 44% of children surveyed.
The ‘Change Starts With Us’ report explains that “listening to young people, having a conversation, thinking about the impact of our words or stopping before hitting ‘like’ on a hurtful social media post” are all opportunities to bring an end to bullying. For 73% of respondents, adults face the responsibility of having to tackle the problem head-on, with 25% feeling as though adults are not always the best influences for managing this behaviour. Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) had never spoken to their parents about bullying.
The report also outlined take-away recommendations from respondents to help us all address bullying effectively:
– Schools and education settings must record how much bullying is taking place and understand the ‘hotspots’ where bullying is more likely to happen, such as the journey to and from school.
-Social media and online gaming companies should set children’s default privacy settings to the highest level.
-Media and influencers should use their power responsibly and portray real life rather than an ideal.
– Parents and carers should attempt to understand the technology that children use and take time to listen to children.
– Government and parliamentarians should act as role models in how they treat each other and fund more training for schools.
Children and young people should think about the impact of their words and actions.