Bullying: Young people admit to a fear of ‘being different’

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: iStock

Children and young people are worried about appearing to be “different”, with many admitting that they would change aspects of themselves to avoid bullying.

In a study carried out ahead of Anti-Bullying Week this week, pupils also raised concerns that they are not given enough information about what to do if they fall victim to bullying.

The research involved 1,600 young people aged from eight to 16 and found that 52 per cent worry about being seen as “different”.

Forty per cent admitted that they would hide or change aspects of themselves because of fears of bullying.

Of those who admitted as such, a majority said that they would most likely alter the way they look to avoid bullying.

Despite this, the poll found that 96 per cent of the young people believe it is important to be yourself.

The research has been conducted by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, organisers of Anti-Bullying Week, which comes to an end on Friday, November 17. It also found that 64 per cent of the children have encountered someone being bullied for being different.

However, 36 per cent said they do not learn enough in school about what to do in such situations, or if the bullying happens to them.

Martha Evans, co-ordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said: “This poll shows that some children are worried about being themselves for fear of bullying. They worry about many things that might make them ‘stand out’ including their appearance, disability, culture, or religion. It is so important that we learn to celebrate the things that make us all different, and are clear that it is never okay to bully someone.

“Anti-Bullying Week is sending the message we are ‘All Different, All Equal’ and we hope to provide a platform for children, teachers and parents, to raise awareness of what to do if you are being bullied, or see it happening to someone else.”

Visit www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk


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