anti-bullying week 2012

19 November 12

Bullying is something that can affect us at any age: whether you’re bullied as a child or teen, or abused as an adult or elder.

This week is national Anti-bullying Week, and the theme is ‘We’re better without bullying’. Even if you’ve never been bullied, it’d be hard to disagree with that statement. It seems almost obvious, doesn’t it? So why is it important to raise awareness and funds?

Because, actually, it’s not obvious. There’s a tendency to downplay bullying as just a bit of a scuffle in the school yard, but in reality bullying can ruin lives. Victims can experience depression and low self-esteem, and studies show that the bullies themselves sometimes go on to become perpetrators of domestic abuse later in life*. The financial burden on society to rectify these issues – the costs of counselling, medication, legal expenses – is huge, to say nothing of the emotional price that victims pay. It turns out that we really are better without bullying.

Kidscape, a UK registered charity, estimates that a whopping 50% of school children have reported being bullied at some stage in their school life. As a parent, that figure seriously concerns me. It means that either my child or yours may endure name-calling, alienation, physical abuse or worse whilst in the education system. Even more worrying is the fact that some schools don’t have the knowledge or the resources to put a stop to it. Anti-bullying week is designed to put the problem on everyone’s breakfast table; to make it an issue not simply for the 50% and their families, but for anyone who has a voice to stand against bullying.

 Charities like Kidscape, Childline and BeatBullying are vital. They provide schools with the resources and schemes to effectively equip teachers and students, so that they can challenge and prevent bullying.

This week I urge you to support one of these charities in the following ways:

Fundraise – whether you choose a sporting challenge, a culinary event, or just a simple yard sale – there are multiple ways to raise funds for anti-bullying charities. Set your page up now and start planning!

Get educated – these charities produce fantastic resources and Q&As to help you to understand the problems so that you can get involved.

Pray – Pray that the charities will use funds wisely to help eradicate bullying. Also pray about ways in which you might get involved on a long-term basis, perhaps on a volunteering or fundraising basis.

Let us know how you’ve been involved in Anti-Bullying week this year! Tweet us @give using the hashtag #ABW2012