According to research conducted by the Government of New Zealand, one in four students has been a victim of bullying in New Zealand. It is estimated that 200 million kids and youth across the globe are being bullied by their peers. The Center for Adolescent Health states that bullied children have three times more chances of showing depressive symptoms compared to those who are not. Their chances of having suicidal thoughts are eight times higher. British research has also found that girls who used to be bullied during their early school years will most likely remain victims while they are growing up.
Bullying in New Zealand: Girls Are More Likely To Be Bullied
The research goes on to state that children who were regularly bullied have a higher chance of developing psychotic symptoms during their early stages of adolescence. Girls are more prone to be victims of bullying compared to boys. Even three year old children can become victims of bullying. Bullies themselves have a 25 percent chance of having criminal records by the time they reach thirty. The fourth commonest reason for young persons to seek help is bullying.
Bullying in New Zealand : Cyber Bullying Is a Concern
Bullying is not confined to face-to-face confrontation because nowadays there is cyber bullying. This is a situation where the bully uses the internet, a mobile phone or other technology such as a digital camera to hurt or embarrass somebody. Since children and the youth have access to the internet and other forms of technology, they are more susceptible to cyber bullying. This means that bullying can now occur outside the school, wherever and whenever a child communicates with their friends. Cyber bullying includes unwelcome messages on chat and social networking sites, emails, and texts on phones. It can also include circulating photographs or even videos of the people who are being targeted in order to embarrass them. Using technology to spread rumors or attempting to isolate a person also constitutes cyber bullying.
Bullying in New Zealand: How a Parent Can Help
If your kid has been a victim of bullying in New Zealand, it’s important for you as a parent to discuss the matter with the child’s teacher. You can also approach the Board of Trustees if the response from the teacher is not satisfactory. The Ministry of Education can also assist you to resolve the matter. If your kid was assaulted, apart from contacting your kid’s school, the police need to be informed. You can also find numerous resources on the internet that can help you deal with bullying.
Bullying in New Zealand : A Bill to Outlaw Cyber Bullying
The good thing is that there is a bill that has been introduced in parliament to stop the cyber bullying menace. This bill is called the Harmful Communications Bill and it sends a strong message to those who harass and harm others online that their time was up. The proposals of the bill include the creation of a civil enforcement administration. The District Court will allow people to present serious complaints before it in order to provide remedies like takedown orders. Sending or posting materials on the internet with the intent of causing harm will soon be outlawed.
Bullying in New Zealand : How to Deal With a Bully
As a parent, you can advise your child on how to handle a situation in which they are being bullied. One of the basic things that your child can do is to ignore the bully or walk away from the situation. This is because the bully is trying to get some attention. Ignoring or avoiding a bully means that you don’t give them any attention. Your child can also calmly tell a bully to stop this behavior. However, your child should avoid shouting or becoming aggressive because this just gives more attention to the bully.
Bullying in New Zealand : Safety in Numbers
Children can also work together in order to stop bullying in New Zealand. If you see anyone being bullied, it is important to try and stop it. It’s harder for a bully to harass a person who has support from a group of friends. If you are being bullied, you should speak with an adult that you can trust. A toll free number is also available if you would like to contact a person who is able to take action. Free and confidential telephone counseling can also be provided.
Bullying in New Zealand : Action Groups Can Help
Schools can also do more to prevent bullying from happening on the playgrounds and in classrooms. Children who bully others can be provided with social skills. This can change their negative behavior and turn them into well adjusted persons. Expert advice is available for schools that are interested in addressing their bullying problem. There are action groups that can provide assistance to schools. You can also find programs that can help children protect themselves from bullying and abuse and to help them build healthy relationships.