Anti-Bullying Week 2013
This week is Anti-Bullying Week and we don't need to look far to see that this is still a concern amongst children and young people.
In particular, cyber bulling and ‘trolling’ are on the increase with an alarming increase of people leaving abusive and bullying comments on social networking profiles. Research shows in 2012 '38% of young people were affected by cyber-bullying, with abusive emails (26%) and text messages (24%) being the most common methods.' (NSPCC)
There is also evidence to suggest that almost half of children and young people (46%) say they have been bullied at some point their lives (NSPCC).
This year's Anti-Bullying Campaign focuses on: The Future is Ours - Safe, Fun and Connected.
The organisers, Anti-Bullying Alliance, want children and young people to take the lead in creating a future without bullying –through the use of new technology to help promote positive relationships and communication. Cyber bullying is the same as face-to-face bullying and has the same effects on those being victimized.
How we can help
Here at The Hampton Trust we offer a range of programmes designed to help young people who are feeling vulnerable, or who engage in damaging and/or violent behaviour.
Our ECO Programme, based on the IOW, helps young people develop personal and social skills and build confidence through fun based activities, whilst learning about nature and awareness of ecological issues. LINX, on the other hand, is designed to encourage young people to look at the consequences of their violent behaviour through group workshops based around building empathy.
It can sometimes be hard to recognize if a child is being bullied or not.
Read our top warning signs:
- Social Withdrawal: The child may not have many friends, or might seem to be quiet around other kids their age.
- Upset after Being Online: If the child becomes upset after taking part in a chat room/forum or reading a text message. It can often indicate that they're a victim of cyber-bullying.
- Unexplained Injuries: More bruises or wounds than normal, and the child might lie and say they "fell" or bumped into something at school.
- Stress: The child becomes quickly upset or anxious , and might refuse to tell parents what's bothering them.
- Withdrawal from Real-World Social Interaction: When a child withdraws from their peers and doesn't want to engage in activities with them, it can sometimes indicate that they're being bullied online and don't want to face their attackers.
- More Sick Days: The child complains of aches or feeling unwell more than usual, in an attempt to stay home from school.
- Behavioral Changes: Children who are bullied can often go through mood swings or quick behavioral changes. Their self-esteem may also be effected.
- Decrease in School Performance: A sudden decline in grades or other school performance is a warning sign that something is wrong, possibly bullying.
- Insomnia: The child may be suffering from a lack of sleep, related to anxiety over being bullied.
- Reluctance about School: The child might not want to go to school, and may begin to voice feelings that they hate their school, their teacher or some other aspect of their academic life.
If you suspect a child is being bullied then please reassure the child and listen to them. Help them understand that bullying is not their fault and that you will get them the support they need.
To find out more visit www.hamptontrust.org.uk or call us on 02381 157065.