Canada's leading youth counselling service launches an
anti-cyberbullying campaign this November
TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - With Bullying Awareness Week (November
14-20), Kids Help Phone is drawing attention to cyberbullying, a form
of bullying that is witnessed by most people who spend time online, and
one element of a solution that may have been overlooked: the bystander.
We all see them - the insults and name calling at the end of a news
story, a blog post, or on online forums; cruel emails and texts; the
posting of embarrassing photos on Facebook groups; and online gossiping
are all examples of cyberbullying.
Kids Help Phone wants to increase the efforts to raise awareness of the
issue of cyberbullying and stop peer cruelty, and mobilize bystanders
to take a stand since this can be an effective solution to reduce
Kids Help Phone is inviting everyone - youth and adults - to stand up to
cyberbullying by updating their Facebook status, email signatures,
Twitter feeds - any of the preferred vehicles of e-communications -
with the message I will not tolerate hurtful comments online. Cyberbullying will be
reported to site administrators. Join me in taking a stand.
A September 2011-released Statistics Canada study reveals that
about 1 in 10 adults reported that a child aged 8 to 17 living in their
household had been a victim of cyber-bullying.
A recent Kids Help Phone survey asked kids if they had been
cyberbullied: 65% said yes.
In another independent Kids Help Phone online survey, 35 per cent of
kids said they witness bullying on a daily basis, including at school,
after school, and online.
While research indicates 85% of bullying incidents are witnessed by
other students, bystanders try to stop the bullying only 11% to 22% of
the time; studies have shown that bullying stops within 10 seconds more
than half of the time when someone intervenes.
Contrary to popular belief, children who witness a bullying incident do
not play a neutral role. Research suggests that bystanders may actually
encourage and perpetuate the bullying problem; this occurs either
directly, through actively joining in the bullying, or indirectly, by
not taking a stand against the bully.
Research also suggests that witnessing their peers endure verbal or
physical abuse can also cause distress in the bystander.
As one becomes brave enough to stand up to bullying, others will find
the courage to do the same. Kids Help Phone invites everyone to be part
of a new social dynamic.
What our experts are saying
"Empowering kids to stand up to bullying is not easy," says Shannon
Freud, professional counsellor at Kids Help Phone. "We receive many
calls from young people worried about losing their social standing or
becoming targets themselves. But bystanders have power, and reminding
kids that they have a choice can help build kids' self-confidence and
self-respect to stand up for what they believe is right."
Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors are available for media
interviews to talk about this anti-cyberbullying campaign and provide
information and tips about all types of bullying.
About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is Canada's only phone and on-line counselling service
for youth. It's free, anonymous and confidential. Professional
counsellors are available any time of the day or night, 365 days a
year, to help young people deal with concerns large or small. As a
national community-based charity, Kids Help Phone relies on individual
and corporate donations to fund these vital services.
SOURCE: Kids Help Phone
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