New Research Shows Children Regularly Witness Adult Bullying

Lucy Donoughue
By Lucy Donoughue,
updated on Nov 9, 2018

New Research Shows Children Regularly Witness Adult Bullying

Results of a new poll, published by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, show children are affected by adults’ negative behaviour towards each other

New research, published ahead of Anti-Bullying Week (12-16 November) shows that 41% of children polled have seen adults bullying each other and 60% have witnessed adults being disrespectful to each other in the past six months.

The poll, carried out by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, gathered the experiences of over 1,000 children in England, aged 11-16. There were clear indicators that the children polled were aware of the widespread nature of bullying, amongst both children and adults and the negative impact of bullying behaviour.

97% of those polled, said that they would like adults to show more respect for each other after seeing adult bullying online, in the media and in face to face situations. This feedback has helped to shape the theme of 2018’s Anti-Bullying Awareness week - ‘Choose Respect’ - a call to action that applies to interactions between people of all ages.

As well as providing insights around negative behaviour amongst grown-ups, the results showed that bullying continues to be a problem for children, with 87% of those polled stating that they had witnessed young people bullying each other, with 76% of these incidents taking place at school. Sadly, 4% of children polled (the equivalent of one child in each classroom) revealed that they had been the recipient of bullying behaviour every day over the last six months.

Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, Martha Evans reinforced the importance of addressing these issues and tackling bullying from an early age. She said: "Children who experience bullying are at higher risk of experiencing a range of mental health issues and leaving school with fewer qualifications. We need children to learn that we don’t have to be best friends with each other - or always agree with each other but this is never an excuse for bullying or hurtful behaviour."

She continued; "We must always choose respect. We are urging adults to role model the ‘choose respect’ message, and help us stop bullying in schools to to prevent it from affecting so many children’s lives."

Anti-Bullying Week runs from 12-16 November. On Thursday 15 November, the Anti Bullying Alliance will be teaming up with The Duke of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation, in support of the Royal Cyberbullying Taskforce. Together they will hold a ‘Stop, Speak and Support Day’, encouraging young people to reach out and halt bullying online.

Bullying can affect people of all ages. Find a counsellor to support you on Counselling Directory.

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