04 November 2013

Ditch the Label and Stop the Bullying!

I came across a great anti-bullying charity recently, called Ditch the Label. I was doing some research for the Children's Rights Alliance for England, and needed some stats on bullying. Ditch the Label published their first Annual Bullying Survey earlier this year. It was really sad to see what children and young people have been experiencing.

Here are some of their findings:
  • Up to 68% of young people in the UK will experience bullying.
  • Young people with disabilities or from sexual minorities were found to be the most at risk of bullying.
  • 60.2% of the young people who were bullied were targeted because of attitudes towards appearance.
  • 57% of bullied students were dissatisfied with support services on offer.
When I read that last statistic, my first thought was that we have to do something to improve support services for these young people who have experienced bullying. Whereas, actually, it would be better to take action to try to stop bullying in the first place, and then there would be no need for such support services.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A report released last week, by The Children's Commission on Poverty, showed that poorer children in the UK were more likely to report bullying. Children from poorer families were asked if they ever felt embarrassed or were bullied because their families did not have enough money. 55% said they felt embarrassed and 14% said they had been bullied.

Another form of bullying has been on the rise in recent years. Yesterday, I blogged about the fact that so many children around the world do not have access to the internet. Sadly, those who can easily access the internet may use it for destructive purposes, including cyberbullying. Bullying can now extend from the school playground, right into a child's home, through the internet.  

Ditch the Label has also published an Annual Cyberbullying Survey. This survey showed that:
  • 7 in 10 young people are the victims of cyberbullying.
  • 20% of young people are experiencing cyberbullying on a daily basis.
  • Young people are twice as likely to be bullied on facebook than on any other social networking site.

This page has some guidance on how to deal with cyberbullying - for children, parents and teachers.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I think the name, Ditch the Label, is a great one for an anti-bullying charity. Often people label others, based on their appearance, or their interests, or their background, etc. They then form perceptions, because of these labels. In the worst case scenario, this can lead to abuse and bullying. It is important to try to help those who bully others, as with the right support, they can stop inflicting this pain on others.

A nice thing I have found about NaBloPoMo (the challenge to write a blog post everyday throughout November) is the discovery of other great bloggers who are also doing this challenge. I would like to share with you to a post I found yesterday on Mifusa's Blog: Presents of Presence. The post is here. First it highlights the most terrible consequence of bullying: suicide. Then it gives a truly inspiring video, of a man called Nick Vujicic, who was born without limbs, speaking very powerfully about bullying and about love. I wish more young people could watch this video, and hear Nick's message. Please share that post as much as possible to get the message out there!

Feel free to share any other useful sites or videos in the comment section below, or any advice or thoughts you may have. Bullying is a huge issue, and causes so much pain to so many people. I think that any time we can put in to the anti-bullying effort is surely time well-spent.


  1. Bullying is really such a travesty, at any stage in life. Thanks for highlighting it in your blog. I think I wrote a post on it too when there was a question as to whether it's on the rise with the advent of social media and smart devices. Emily Bazelon, senior editor of Slate Magazine wrote a book on it earlier this year.

    Hey, we're on the same "column." I'm new at this and I'm not even sure I can keep up, but I'm willing to try.

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment! When you wrote your post, what did you find? Social media and smart devices seem to be another avenue for bullies to use. It is really sad as all the new technology brings so many benefits, but when used in the wrong way, it can cause a lot of pain. I just looked up Emily Bazelon's book, 'Sticks and Stones' (http://emilybazelon.com/books/sticks-and-stones/). It looks like really useful book on this issue. Thanks for sharing!

      It is nice to meet another NaBloPoMo blogger from the same "column"! I'll go and visit your blog now :)

  2. I just watched a little bit of a documentary on bullying and how it led to the child's death...all because he was expressing his emerging identity. It's scary what kids can do to each other now with the internet as a scapegoat.

    1. Wow, that is so sad, and shows just how devastating the effects of bullying can be. It is scary what can happen. I'm really hoping anti-bullying charities, etc, can get their message out there and support the children who need help, before it is too late.

  3. I am honored that you included me in this post as it's so powerful! I'm happy we've connected through NaBloPoMo and look forward to getting to know you! :)

    1. Yours was a great post - thank you for the inspiration. I am so happy we connected through NaBloPoMo too! I really like your blog and it is nice to 'meet' you this way :)