29 June 2018

Bullying Survey 2018: How witnesses of bullying can help change lives

In February of 2017, the United Nations Academic Impact and United Nations Alliance of Civilization partnered with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in a Prevention Forum that discussed strategies that could be implemented in Education in order to deter violent extremism. The forum can be found here: https://academicimpact.un.org/content/prevention-forum-participants-discuss-education-strategies-prevention-violent-extremism. Ditch the Label also participated in the 2017 Forum and has recently released their Annual Bullying Survey for 2018. 

Ditch the Label was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in the United Kingdom. The organization trains digital personnel to help provide support for young individuals across the globe that have experienced bullying, and connects thousands of young people weekly with resources to deal with bullying. They also conduct research and analyze data in order to implement widespread change to combat bullying worldwide.   

Their most recent report on bullying includes research compiled from over 9,000 participants aged 12-20, and can be found here: https://www.ditchthelabel.org/research-papers/the-annual-bullying-survey-2018/

Last year's report focused on the growing issue of cyberbullying and the effects it has had on young students. This year the group decided to emphasize how bullying can affect individuals that witness it. 

The survey found that 44% of those that participated had either been bullied themselves or witnessed it, and that 51% of people that were bullied experienced it at least once a month. The report also noted that the vast majority of individuals that were bullied were either physically assaulted or bullied online. 

Those that witnessed bullying reported on how the event impacted them. 90% reported that they felt upset, guilty or stressed. When bystanders then went on to intervene, 62% noted that the bullying stopped or that the victim of bullying felt better. The report also found that after intervening 99% either gained friends, became friends with those that were bullied or felt good about themselves. 

The organization hopes that the report will not only shed light on the impact bullying can have on individuals that experience it, but also on those that witness it. The finding highlights the positive feelings that can arise when witnesses step in to stop bullying. 

The report aims to encourage bystanders to intervene when they find themselves witnesses to bullying. As Global Deputy CEO of Ditch the Label Sue Jones states; "Bystanders can be a powerful and often forgotten perspective in the dynamic of bullying."