This week (14th – 18th November) is Anti-Bullying Week, a few days out of the year when the nation are asked to open their eyes to the realities and repercussions of bullying. Of course, bullying happens year round to people of all ages, but this week is a great opportunity to raise awareness and that is exactly what we intend to do.
Last week we launched a campaign to support Anti-Bullying Week, ‘Breaking the barriers of bullying’. Read our recent blog to find out more about our mission and how you can support us.
This year’s theme for Anti-Bullying Week is ‘power for good’. The aim is to encourage people in a position of power – teachers, parents, employers etc. – to use their power for good to take action against bullying all year round.
Our survey revealed that 70% of bullying victims do not seek out support themselves. This makes it especially important for friends, family and those in power to be vigilant and to reach out to those affected by bullying.
So, how can you use your power for good? The first step is being aware of the problem (one in two of us are affected by bullying) and knowing the signs of bullying. Victims can often feel isolated and even ashamed of what’s happening, and so may not come to you for help. Spotting the signs and being the one to reach out first can make a huge difference.
If you’re a teacher there are several steps you can take. The most important thing is ensuring students know who they can talk to about bullying and what the school’s policy on bullying is. This helps students feel more confident when it comes to reporting it. We have more advice on our advice for teachers fact-sheet.
For parents, the concern may be that your child is being bullied or that your child is being a bully. On our advice for parents fact-sheet we explore your options, including speaking to the school and coping with your own feelings.
Creating a bully-free environment in the workplace can increase morale and reduce staff turnover. Having a robust bullying and harassment policy in place is key. Find out more about what you can do as an employer, manager or colleague on our advice for employers fact-sheet.
The only way we will ever stop bullying is by talking about it and eradicating the stigma. Join us this week on the hashtag #bullyingwhocares to show us you care, and together we can break the barriers bullying creates.