“Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never harm me”, this is an English rhyme for children that is reported to have first appeared back in the 1800s. While this line may be true on so many levels but the fact remains that our children are still suffering from hurtful actions and words, otherwise known as Bullying.
Bullying spans so many mediums and forms, from workplace bullying to school and cyber bullying. A lot of people are finding new ways every day to install fear and hurt upon others whether physically and emotionally. That is why we are in a desperate need to raise awareness about fighting all forms of Bullying.
In Ireland (according to www.ispcc.ie) a survey spanning more than 18,000 young people published in 2011, 26% of respondents from secondary schools said they or someone they knew had been bullied and 22% of respondents from the primary group said that they or someone they knew had experienced bullying and finally, over half of the young people stated that they would not tell anyone about bullying because they would be afraid that it would make the bullying worse.
As for Children at the age of 9 Years old, although 40% of children reported that they were the victim of bullying only 23%of their mothers reported this to be the case.
The numbers are astounding, and with the introduction of new social mediums every day, the risk of a child being abused is increasing. Therefore, the need for a fixed anti bullying day is more than important and is borderline critical.
While Schools are actively learning and coaching students about Bullying in school, the truth remains that Cyber Bullying is following children and young adults wherever they may go and the anonymity provided by the online world is a major catalyst.
The silverlining, according to www.nspcc.org.uk is that children are stepping up and try to find solutions. Between 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 ChildLine carried out 31,599 counseling interactions with a primary concern of bullying. This represents 10% of the total counseling interactions undertaken during that period.
The world is also stepping up, On June 25th, 2013, in the European Parliament, MEP Sean Kelly (EPP,IE) is hosting an event with the help of www.beatbullying.org where several keynote speakers will address the topic of Bullying from Schoolyard to Cyber Space. The event is also hosted by MEP Phil Prendergast (S&D,IE). Speakers include Thibaut Kleiner, Adviser, Cabinet of European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes, Anthony Smythe, Managing Director, Beatbullying, Simon Milner, Director of Policy, Facebook UK & Ireland and it also includes a Presentation by a BeatBullying Mentor.