We apologise for being a bit fashionably late to the party on this one, but we thought it was worth bringing to your attention anyways. Earlier this month, Anti-Bullying Week took place across Britain, and while we may have missed the events marking the occasion (again, our bad), we feel the issues it addressed are important at any time of the year.
After all, each and every one of us has probably been affected by bullying at some point in our lives. Anti-bullying week? We’re living that anti-bullying life.
First and foremost, what is Anti-Bullying Week? The week was created by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), a coalition of organisations and individuals who work together to reduce bullying and create safer environments in which young people can ‘live, grow, play and learn.’
The year the theme was All Different, All Equal, an approach decided upon after the ABA asked 600 young people to tell them what groups they thought were most vulnerable to bullying. These were the top results:
– Race and faith targeted bullying.
– Bullying related to disability or special educational needs.
– Homophobic, biphobic and/or transphobic bullying.
– Appearance related bullying.
Many of us may be all too familiar with some of these themes. Even if they don’t affect you directly, there’s a high chance you’ve encountered them at some point, most likely online. In 2017, social media often serves as the arena for bullies to operate, largely because they can cloak their cowardly actions in anonymity.
This is why we love the concept of All Different, All Equal. Away from the internet; in our cities, schools and communities, Britain is a diverse, inclusive place where different people live easily among one another. Incidents of cruelty and division may stick in your memory or even make the news, but that’s only because they’re rare. Kindness happens every day. In real life, the bullies who make fun of someone for supposedly being different are, in fact, the people who don’t fit in.
Of course, bullying does happen in the offline world – in schools, offices, the streets – and it can be extremely hurtful for the victims. But as more and more of us embrace everyone’s unique traits and differences, the bullies will feel less powerful.
Even so, it’s always important to seek help if you feel like you’re being bullied. Talk to your friends about it, your family, a teacher or simply someone you trust. Quite often, they’ll have experienced something similar to what you’re going through now, so can advise you on dealing with it.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing any of those things, the ABA website offers information on organisations and charities that may be able to help you, or at least give you a friendly voice to talk to. Click here to find out more.
Events like Anti-Bullying Week can set these changes in motion. Hopefully, there will be a day when events of this nature won’t need to exist.
As we said, let’s aim for the anti-bullying life.