Hateful online messages. Vicious rumours. Regular, catty comments. Exclusion from social groups. Physical threats and attacks. Bullying comes in many different forms and it affects a huge proportion of the global population. Last year, UNICEF (the world’s leading organisation working for children in danger) found that half of students aged 13 to 15 worldwide – about 150 million – said they had been bullied.
The study found that those bullied were more likely to have trouble sleeping at night, and were twice as likely to have considered suicide. Other long-term effects of bullying can be feelings of shame and anxiety – as well as a higher risk of mental and physical illness.
In recent years, the rise of online platforms has provided more ways of bullying. According to the UN, that polled young people in 30 countries, one in three have been bullied online, with 80% of those surveyed agreeing that social media was the most common place for online bullying.
In 2018, in a programme organised by UNICEF, 100 young people from around the world gathered in Cape Town to combat violence and bullying in schools. The #ENDviolence manifesto has three main commitments: be kind, report violence, take action.
How will you fight bullying this week?
Read Our Stories
Even earliest humans bullied, says research
Psychologists say bullies’ behaviour could be caused largely by their upbringing. Are some people naturally nasty, or does nurture play a more significant role in explaining their behaviour?
‘My whole world was swept from under my feet’
Should there be a “Caroline’s law”? After the reality TV presenter tragically took her own life, friends and politicians are calling on new media regulation to prevent merciless bullying.
Fears social media is fuelling teen suicides
Yesterday, The Sunday Times reported that teenage suicides in England have nearly doubled in eight years. Now the government is calling on social media to do more to protect young people.
Why do people bully? It can be terribly difficult to understand why someone would deliberately choose to be so unkind. In this video, School of Life traces the reasons behind nastiness.
- Design a poster to combat online bullying and share it on social media.
- Research the statistics about bullying in your country and another one. Write one side of paper comparing the two.
- Create your own manifesto for fighting bullying. Come up with three aims and a set of rules.