5 Staggering Facts On Bullying (& How You Can Help)
When it comes to putting a stop to bullying, it’s time to say ‘no more’.
Take a look at the following five facts on bullying in Australia and find out how you can make a difference.
FACT #1: Bullies are at higher risk of substance abuse, depression, anxiety and hostility than non-bullies.
When it comes to the act of bullying, it’s not only the victim at risk. Bullies themselves are often dealing with one or many underlying issues, and in some instances are identified as ‘bully-victims’ – both victim to and perpetrators of bullying at different stages. This can be a result of being subject to repeated and harmful behaviours that stem from a misuse of power (either at home, at school, socially, or a combination of all three environments). These facts on bullying also state that children who have been identified as being ‘bully-victims’ often suffer the worst effects.
* Source: March 2018 survey, Relationships Australia
FACT #2: A victim’s response is often just to ignore it
Victims of childhood bullying often find themselves overwhelmed with how to deal with a seemingly ongoing situation. In more than half of bullying incidents, study statistics have revealed that victims choose to stay silent and ignore the situation. Fighting back, doing nothing and making jokes were also other prominent coping mechanisms. What these facts on bullying highlight is the need for conversation – long term solutions require action, and in order for that to occur, we need to encourage children to play a part in addressing the situation.
Educating children on the importance of speaking out, either as a victim or a bystander of bullying is crucial to creating change.
*Source: Cross et al., 2009.
FACT #3: Over 80% of those who bullied others online would also do so offline
The increase in cyber-bullying comes as little surprise – with more children exposed to the online world and the ease of creating anonymous, harmful, viral content, we are seeing more children falling victim to merciless taunts in a 24/7 digital world. What does come as a surprise is that this taunting is more often than not tainted with the intent to further harass others offline. As a result, victims of bullying can often feel at a loss as to how to escape bullies.
* Source: Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study (ACBPS)
FACT #4: The top reasons for not seeking support are stigma, embarrassment and fear of being seen as ‘weak’
Of 1000 students surveyed by ReachOut, the top reason for not seeking help or support for bullying was stigma. As a result of either embarrassment or being seen as ‘weak’ by fellow students and friends, victims choose to forego seeking solutions or resolutions. Other reasons cited within these facts on bullying were that victims felt they could handle the issue on their own, and a perception that the problem was not serious enough to seek outside help.
In order to break the stigma associated with being a victim, it’s essential to create a sense of unification and voice the fact that it’s not weak to speak out.
FACT #5: Onlookers are present in almost 90% of instances of bullying
In a study conducted by Angels Hope, it has been reported that bystanders are present in nearly 90% of bullying incidences. Regardless of the situation, being an onlooker to bullying can often have a trickle-down effect, resulting in witnesses feeling anxious, upset or helpless. Moreover, this further exacerbates the problem of not feeling able to confidently speak out (it’s not only the responsibility of the victim).
To get children to speak out against bullying, we must also consider implementing educational programs that inform children on how bullying hurts everyone – from perpetrators and victims, through to those witnessing incidences of mental and physical abuse.
Source: Angels Hope
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION
The upcoming No More Harm National Conference is designed to shine a spotlight on the cause, effect and solutions to bullying, discrimination and harm prevention. Hear from experts who will provide the latest facts, figures and trends, as well as open the event to discussion on how all professionals can help to inform, empower and unite to say ‘no more’.