‘The Bully’ is someone who is feared by children, parents and teachers alike. The children fear the bully will target them, the parents fear their child be will bullied or will become a bully and the teachers fear the bully will disrupt the learning and development of other children. At Nexus Fostering, we don’t think anyone should have to fear the bully, which is why we are supporting Anti-Bullying Weeks’ ‘Make a noise about bullying’ campaign.
According to a survey conducted by the award winning anti-bullying charity ‘Ditch The Label’, 43% of young people aged between 13 and 20 were bullied at some point during 2015, 44% of which were bullied at least once per week. There were various reasons for the bullying, most of which were appearance based:
- 26% were bullied because of their weight
- 21% were bullied because of their body shape
- 14% were bullied because of their facial features
- 8% were bullied because of their hair colour
- 18% were bullied because of their clothing
- 9% were bullied because of their glasses
Bullying has terrible consequences for everyone involved. The bullied child may end up self-harming, skipping school, developing an eating disorder or running away from home. Statistics also suggest that bullies are more likely to get in trouble with the police. This highlights the need to stop bullying for the sake of everyone involved.
Anti-bullying week has been running from 16th November and ends on 20th November, but the fight against bullying carries on throughout the year. This years ‘Make a noise about bullying’ theme encourages everyone to talk about bullying, whether you are a victim, a friend of a victim, a teacher or a parent. It aims to empower young people to speak out about bullying and encourages teachers and parents alike to talk openly with their children.
What can you do to support Anti-bullying week?
There are many ways you can get involved in Anti-bullying week, starting most simply by getting the discussion going. Talk to your children about bullying, ask them if it is something they have experienced or if they can recognise that their own behaviour may be considered bullying. Your child may be reluctant to speak about it if they are being bullied, so keep an eye out for the following behaviour:
- Reluctance to go to school
- Irritability and anxiousness
- Spending time alone and not communicating with you
- Aggressive behaviour
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Misplacing their belongings and not wanting to talk about it
- Physical signs such as bruises and scratches
You can also help to raise awareness on Twitter with the hashtags #MakeaNoise and #antibullyingweek. Get the discussion started online, offer your opinions and experiences as well as supporting others. Another option is that you email your local MP and ask them to show support in the battle against bullying. For teachers and other school workers, you can arrange assembly’s or lessons which talk about bullying. You can find plenty of anti-bullying resources on the Anti-bullying Alliance website. Whatever you do, just make a noise about bullying and make it a thing of the past!