The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) has today launched Anti-Bullying Week, which will run until 30 April. It has also set up a microsite so young people, parents and schools can download information on issues such as cyberbullying and homophobic bullying, as well as information for parents if their child is the bully.
Mark Feehily from the band Westlife launched the campaign today, while other celebrity supporters of the campaign include rugby players Jamie Heaslip and Brian O’Driscoll, actress Saoirse Ronan, MTV VJ Laura Whitmore and pop duo Jedward.
To mark anti-bullying week, the charity has created an ISPCC shield pin, which will retail in shops this week for €2.
The ISPCC has also set up a free Bullying Support telephone line (1800 66 66 77) that will be available 24/7 during this week’s campaign. It released some findings about bullying and young kids in Ireland today.
- Childline received almost 11,000 calls from children and young people in relation to bullying last year.
- It said 26pc of young people in secondary school have been victims of bullying, or know someone who has been bullied.
- Meanwhile, 22pc of young people in primary school have reported that they have been bullied, or know someone who has been bullied, according to the ISPCC.
In its downloadable leaflet on cyberbullying, the ISPCC offers the following advice for kids and parents:
- Don’t respond to the bully – save the evidence and show it to an adult you trust.
- Keep the message, note date and times and show to an adult.
- Block the sender. If the harassment is coming in the form of instant messages, texts, or profile comments, use preferences or privacy tools to block the person. If the bullying is happening in chat, leave the ‘chatroom’ or contact your internet service provider.
- If bullying happens on a webpage or social network, report the abusive messages to the site provider.