NFPs Back National Anti-Bullying Day
15 March 2013 at 11:30 am
Mental health Not for Profits have thrown their support behind National Day Against Bullying today, urging Australians to think about how they can take action to combat the growing problem.
Beyondblue chief executive Kate Carnell said that the increased popularity of social media had led to a rise in cyberbullying, meaning people can be targeted in their homes where they should feel safe.
“People have a responsibility to report any cyberbullying they see on social media,” Carnell said. “It’s not difficult to do.”
“On a Facebook page for example, click the cog, which is often near the like or message button, scroll down to “report page” and choose the reason why you want it reported.
“It only takes a minute and you could help prevent real harm to the person targeted.
“It’s not acceptable at school or work in the physical world, so why should you stand for it online?,” Carnell said.
Carnell said if people did not take a stand against bullying, it could reinforce the idea that such behaviour is acceptable.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s in the workplace, at school or online, any form of bullying is unacceptable,” she said.
Mental health charity headspace has released a survey to coincide with National Day Against Bullying which revealed only one in seven parents (14 per cent) are confident they would know the signs that their child is bullying others.
The survey of more than 400 Australian parents found that while bullying is a major concern they don’t feel like they have the tools they need to spot trouble and provide the right support to their children.
Headspace chief executive Chris Tanti said bullying behaviour can be a red flag that your child might be going through a tough time and it’s important to spot the warning signs.
“Look out for changes in behaviour like increased frustration and aggression or if they are becoming more argumentative or defiant than usual,” Tanti said.
“We know that children who have been bullied themselves are more likely to bully others if the distress isn’t resolved.”
The survey found that nearly half of parents (45 per cent) said bullies should be punished but most recognise that the behaviour could be linked to other issues, with 95 per cent saying the bully should get help.
Tanti said that parents have an important role to play in helping to reduce the incidence of bullying.
“Bullying doesn’t just occur among young people at school, it happens in the workplace and in the political arena every day. Parents and adults need to teach by example and show young people that bullying isn’t acceptable,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Alannah and Madeline Foundation has announced a symposium on Bullying, Young People and the Law, said to be the first of its kind in Australia.
A joint initiative between the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB), Australian Federal Police and the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, the symposium will be held in Victoria on July 18-19 and will bring together Australia’s leading legislators, legal practitioners and representatives of Australia’s Children’s Courts, as well as educators, academics and children’s advocates.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is also National Patron of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, welcomed the symposium, saying it was an important step in seeking to improve the wellbeing and safety of all Australians both online and offline.
“We have to enhance the protection of our young people from bullying. It can be devastating and can have an enormous impact on their lives,” Gillard said.
“Our community deserves fresh thinking and action on this important issue and we need to make sure Australian laws deal with bullying appropriately.”
The 3rd annual National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence is being held across the country today to encourage students, teachers, parents and the community to take a stand together against bullying and violence.