Bullying is an important topic within the UK, and children, teens, and parents need to be aware of this growing problem. From school bullying to cyberbullying, this problem continues to affect children and teens in significant ways. In order to prevent bullying, it’s important for parents to be aware of important bullying facts and statistics. This guide offers parents a closer look at bullying, bullying statistics, and measures that can be taken to stop bullying in the future.
Bullying is any behavior by a group or an individual that hurts another group or individual emotionally or physically. Bullying is an intentional action that is usually repeated multiple times over time. Bullying can take many different forms, but all forms of bullying cause the victim to be upset. Some common examples of bullying include:
- Calling someone names
- Swearing and verbal abuse
- Intentionally keeping someone out of activities and games
- Threatening violence
- Kicking, hitting, and other forms of physical violence
- Ignoring an individual or getting other people to ignore that individual
- Hiding or taking an individual’s belongings
- Teasing or humiliating an individual
- Spreading rumors about someone
In some cases, bullying may be a part of other types of abuse, such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect.
What is Cyberbullying?
Another type of bullying that has become more prevalent with advancements in technology is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is any type of bullying that takes place via electronic devices, such as cellphones, computers, tablets, gaming devices, etc. Some examples of cyberbullying include:
- Abuse online comments
- Stolen identity
- Threats via email, text message, instant message, etc.
- Posting nasty pictures online
- Spreading gossip and rumours online
- Stealing a victims screen name or password and pretending to be the victim
- Threatening to post embarrassing photos
- Developing websites that include insulting, humiliating or embarrassing information about a victim
- Posting the victims personal information online
Cyber bullying statistics UK show that 70% of young people have been a victim of cyberbullying at some point, according to DitchtheLabel.org. This study also showed that 37% of young people deal with cyberbullying frequently.
Statistics on Bullying in the UK
The statistics of bullying occurrences within the UK are disturbing, and they show how prevalent the bullying problem has become across the country. The following are some of the bullying statistics from recent studies:
- The 2013 cyberbullying statistics report from Ditch the Label shows that not only have 7 in teens dealt with cyber bullying, but 20% of those individuals deal with extreme cyberbullying daily.
- The 2014 annual bullying survey shows that 45% of youth will deal with bullying before they turn 18. Of those who are bullied, 26% deal with bullying on a daily basis.
- According to the NSPCC, 45,000 children called ChildLine in 2013 to talk about bullying.
- The National Centre for Social Research found that bullying was more prevalent in children in younger age groups. At age 14, nearly half of the children surveyed reported bullying. This percentage decreased with age to only 41% of 15 year olds and 29% of 16 year olds.
- An estimated 39% of bullied children and teens have never told anyone they are being bullied.
- Approximately 63% of young people with physical disabilities have been bullied.
- Studies show that 10% of bullied young people have tried to commit suicide and 30% of individuals who are bullied have attempted self-harm.
School Bullying Statistics and How Schools are Fighting Bullying
Bullying statistics show that bullying is a common problem in UK schools, and according to the Tellus4 National Report, 46% of children and teens say they have been bullied at some time while they were at school. Studies that were performed by Ditch the Label show that 56% of students say that bullying affects their studies. The Red Balloon Learner Centre Group estimates that over 16,000 children and teens miss school because of bullying. All of these statistics show that bullying in schools is a serious problem that has a big impact on students.
The Guardian published an article that cited a study that showed that UK schools have a higher rate of bullying than other schools across Europe. The study showed that 48% of English pupils feel that bullying is a problem at school, which was higher than statistics found in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and Portugal. Some of the reasons students reported they were bullied included:
- Differences in physical appearances
- The clothing they wore
- Language problems
- Racial differences
- Religious differences
- Skin colour
While bullying appears to be a big problem in UK schools, schools are taking measures to fight the bullying problem. Some of the actions schools are taking to fight bullying in schools include:
- Getting Parents Involved – This involves making sure that parents understand that schools will not tolerate bullying. Parents are made aware of the procedures they need to follow if their child is being bullied at school. Schools are working hard to make sure that parents are confident that schools will take all bullying complaints seriously, resolving the problem in a way that keeps the bullied child protected.
- Getting Pupils Involved – Schools are also getting pupils involved, making sure that pupils understand the school’s bullying policy. Students are also taught how they can prevent bullying, even when they are bystanders witnessing a bullying problem.
- Discussing Differences Openly – More schools are beginning to discuss differences openly, including disabilities, sexuality, gender, religion, and ethnicity, in effort to reduce problems with bullying.
- Training School Staff Members – UK schools are beginning to train school staff members in the purpose and principles of the school’s bullying policy. This includes training on the legal responsibilities of schools, how to resolve bullying problems, and where staff members can get support when dealing with a bullying problem.
- Regular Evaluation and Updating of Bullying Policies – Another action schools are taking to fight bullying is regular evaluation and updating of bullying policies. Policies often need to change their approach to deal with technological changes. For example, schools are working to update their computer policies and their definition of “acceptable use.”
- Make Reporting Easy for Pupils – Schools understand that bullying cannot be stopped unless pupils feel safe reporting problems with bullying. Many UK schools are making it easier for pupils to report any problems with bullying, ensuring that children are listened to and problems action upon quickly.
- Working with Other Agencies – Bullying isn’t a problem that schools can take on alone, so many schools are beginning to work with other agencies, such as children’s services and police departments, making it easier to tackle bullying problems in schools and events that take place outside of school.
Statistics About Bullying and Social Networks
Cyberbullying often takes place on social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Studies have been done on cyberbullying and social networks, and statistics about bullying show that many teens deal with cyberbullying on social networking sites. Some of the recent statistics on bullying and social networks include:
- Facebook is the most common social network used for cyberbullying. Studies that were done by Ditch the Label show that 75% of teens use Facebook today. Among teen Facebook users, 54% of teens have been victims of cyberbullying.
- 21% of teen YouTube users experience cyberbullying.
- Out of the 43% of teens that use Twitter, 28% have experienced bullying online.
- 34% of teens using Instagram have experienced at least one episode of cyberbullying.
Since social networks and cyberbullying seem to go hand and hand, it’s important that parents monitor children and teens that use social networks. Parents need to talk to young people about cyberbullying, encouraging them to notify an adult if they are a victim of bullying online.
Beyond the UK Bullying Statistics – How to Stop Bullying
Bullying statistics show that bullying continues to be a problem affecting the UK’s children and teens, but it’s important to look beyond the UK bullying statistics to how bullying can be stopped. Here’s a look at actions schools, parents, and young people can take to stop bullying.
Actions Schools Can Take
- Schools need to conduct bullying assessments to learn how bullying happens, where it occurs, how adults and students intervene, and whether the schools prevention efforts are providing results.
- Schools need to get youth and parents involved in stopping bullying. This involves starting a bullying awareness campaign to make school policies on bullying known to the community, parents, staff, and students.
- Schools must create a bullying reporting system that makes students feel safe enough to report bullying.
- Schools need to build a safe environment that has a culture of respect, tolerance, and acceptance. Staff meetings, parent meetings, family newsletters, school websites, school handbooks, and student assemblies can all be used to establish a safe, positive school climate.
Actions Parents Can Take
- Parents need to stay connect with children and teens. Parents are more likely to notice changes in a child’s social interactions if they know about their children’s friends and interactions with peers and classmates.
- Parents must talk to children and teens about bullying. Explain bullying to children and why bullying is wrong.
- Parents need to teach children and teens what they should do if they are a victim of bullying. Kids should be taught to immediately alert an adult if they are a victim of bullying or if they are a witness to bullying behavior. It’s also important to teach children how to stand up to kids who are bullying them.
- Parents must also be aware of the warning signs of bullying. Warning signs may include behavioral changes, reluctance to go to school, depression, or a sudden desire for isolation.
Actions Young People Can Take
- Young people should keep record of any bullying behaviors, such as saving threatening emails or nasty text messages that they have received.
- Young people can help stop bullying by reporting bullying as soon as possible.
- Young people should stay away from bullies, staying with a group if they don’t feel safe.
- Young people should talk to school authorities about the school bullying policy. This information helps young people know what they can do when bullying occurs.
Resources for Bullying Victims and Their Parents
The following are some important UK resources for bullying victims, their parents, and young people that want to learn more about preventing bullying.
- Bullying UK – This website offers bullying information and tips for young people. The site offers live online chat and email support for young people dealing with bullying. A parent channel is also available to help parents learn more about bullying statistics and facts.
- ChildLine 0800 1111 – ChildLine offers a website and a helpline available to children and young people. Kids and teens can call ChildLine at any time if they are dealing with bullying worries. Calls are free and confidential. Online chat, message boards, text messaging, and emails are also available.
- GOV.UK Bullying – This government website offers helpful bullying information for young people and parents, including helpful information on what to do if you are being bullied.
- Kidscape – Kidscape is an online site that offers bullying advice and information for young people and children. This includes tips for making friends and information on what to do if you’re being bullied.