be a Supporter not a Bystander
Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week is a campaign created to raise awareness about the frequency and consequences of bullying, and the positive ways to prevent it. To support this important campaign we have compiled anti-bullying support resources to help you support someone who is the target of bullying and to start a conversation at home or in the classroom about bullying and its impact on others.
We often associate bullying with adolescence and grade-school conflict, but in the real-world bullying extends far beyond the schoolyard. Bullying is a serious social issue that affects millions of people around the world every year. Often stemming from a power imbalance between two or more individuals, it can cause physical, emotional, and even psychological harm to both the victims and the perpetrators. Bullying can also have negative impacts on the larger communities which it occurs. Most people are aware of bullying as a concept, but awareness and prevention and two very different things. Our goal is to provide actionable steps for our readers to combat bullying in their daily lives.
Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week
Bullying Awareness Week in Canada was initiated by Canadian educator and anti-bullying activist Bill Belsey. He launched the campaign in 2003 with the aim of raising awareness about the issue of bullying and promoting positive relationships. Belsey, a teacher in Alberta, recognized the serious impact of bullying on students and was inspired to create a dedicated week to address this issue. The campaign has since grown to involve schools, communities, and organizations across Canada and beyond, focusing on education, prevention, and promoting a culture of respect and kindness.
The week has grown to become a global movement that involves thousands of organizations, schools, and individuals. The week is supported by various partners including the Canadian Red Cross, Kids Help Phone, PREVNet, and UNICEF.
Why you should care
Bullying can have serious and lasting effects on the well-being of everyone involved. It is very common for bullying to be pushed under the rug, or outright ignored because of the uncomfortable confrontation required to prevent it. Unfortunately, avoiding the issue only allows it to become worse. Some of the negative outcomes of bullying include:
- Low self-esteem
- Substance abuse
- Difficulty in academia or the workplace
- Social isolation
Victims of bullying often feel as though they are alone, causing a sense of hopelessness when searching for a solution. That’s why this year’s theme, #WhereToTurn, serves as a reminder to everyone that help is available, no matter who or where you are. Remember that simple acts of kindness can help prevent bullying. By standing up for individuals being bullied, you can help create a culture of kindness, empathy, and respect in your community. Most importantly, speak up! Being vocal about the issues you or somebody you know is experiencing is the first and most important step to prevent bullying.
Remember, bullying can happen in online communities as well. In fact, with more ways to connect digitally than ever before, cyber-bullying is extremely common in 2023. The same steps apply to preventing cyber-bullying, but it can be more difficult for some individuals to seek support in online communities.
If you or someone you know is currently struggling with bullying, we have complied various resources to help navigate through the process and connect you will professionals who can help.
Anti-Bullying Support Resources:
Show your support!
Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week 2023 is an opportunity to join the global movement against bullying. Tag us on social media with #notonmyinternet and use #wheretoturn to tell your story or reach out to others. Always remember that you are not alone, and you should always reach out for help when you need it.