Anti-Bullying Week 2022 is coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and is held from November 14th- until the 18th. The theme this year is “Reach Out.”
In 2021, 80% of schools marked the week, reaching over 7.5 million children and young people. The campaign exists to remind everyone to “reach out and show each other the support we need.”
“Friendship Friday” will also take place on Friday 18th November to provide further opportunities to celebrate friendship and promote positive relationships.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance definition states that “Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face to face or online.”
Bullying can take many forms and can be detrimental in many ways to a child’s physical health, well-being, and mental health. Some examples of why a child may experience bullying can be because of their race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, shyness, disability, home life, family, values, clothing, or even because their bully is jealous of their success or appearance etc. We know that it can also have a lasting impact on some children into adulthood.
Bullying can happen anywhere such as in school, outside of school, and online. It is essential that professionals and parents/carers understand how to recognise and respond to bullying and of course ensure they always encourage children to raise their hand and tell someone if they are a victim.
Some examples of different types of bullying include:
When children experience bullying, it can have a significant impact on their self-esteem, confidence, well-being, and mental health. Bullying can cause a child to self-injure or harm themselves, and in some cases has driven children to experience suicidal ideation and even in the worst circumstances, to take their own life.
Children may also experience loneliness, feel left out of peer or friendship groups, and struggle with their education and attendance. They may also find it hard to trust others as a result of this which can impact personal relationships.
Signs and symptoms you should look out for:
A whole-school approach is the most effective way to ensure that students are safe from bullying. This also includes adhering to robust anti-bullying, anti-harassment, equality diversity, and inclusion, code of conduct, student behaviour, and safeguarding and wellbeing policy and procedures. Schools should assess their approaches to bullying, violent conduct, harassment, the use of derogatory language, discriminatory behaviour, and most importantly what response and action are taken and when.
Schools should aim to:
If a child is being bullied, you may advise them to:
Other options include dedicated charities such as Kidscape, which are a leading Anti-Bullying charity in the UK that has some extremely useful resources that can support children, parents, carers, and professionals with bullying issues. Kidscape provides practical support to children and families that are impacted by bullying through interactive workshops, therapeutic support, and the parent advice line. They also deliver high-impact training programmes to schools, sports clubs, community groups and professionals. For further information and supporting documents please click on the links below:
Additional support services:
The Anti-Bullying Alliance: https://anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week
The National Bullying Helpline: 0300 323 0169 https://www.nationalbullyinghelpline.co.uk/contact.html
Report Hate Crime: Police-101 https://www.gov.uk/report-hate-crime
Think U Know (Online Sexual Abuse): https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
ChildLine (Online Abuse): https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/remove-nude-image-shared-online/
MIND Charity: 0300 123 3393 https://www.mind.org.uk/
Anxiety UK: 03444 775 774 https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/
PAPYRUS: 0800 068 4141 https://www.papyrus-uk.org/
NSPCC: 0808 800 5000 https://www.nspcc.org.uk/