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Bullying Prevention – UNICEF Report Reveals Bullying Is a Worldwide Problem

by John Gomez | Last Updated: November 11, 2016
Bullying Prevention

Bullying awareness continues to grow in the United States.  This is a positive development, as more people are gaining knowledge of bullying and how to recognize it when it’s occurring.  We tend to think of bullying in cultural terms.  As a result, many people focus on bullying as it takes place in the United States.  UNICEF, or the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, is a worldwide organization that strives to improve the lives of young people across the globe.  UNICEF recently conducted an online opinion poll regarding bullying across the world.  If this problem is more clearly defined, bullying prevention becomes more effective.  The children’s rights lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys continue to spread the word regarding bullying knowledge.  The UNICEF report reveals that many of the realities regarding bullying around the world should look familiar to Americans who study the issue.

About the UNICEF Poll

UNICEF asked 100,000 children and adolescents from around the world to answer several different questions relating to bullying.  The responses revealed the following:

  • 90 percent of the respondents believe that bullying is a problem.
  • 67 percent of the respondents stated that they had been victims of bullying.
  • 25 percent had been bullied because of their physical appearance.
  • 25 percent had been bullied because of their gender or sexuality.
  • Nearly 25 percent had been the target of bullying because of their ethnicity or national origin.
  • 33 percent of respondents believed that bullying was normal and did not report it to anyone.
  • 25 percent of bullying targets did not know who to tell.
  • More than 40 percent of bullying targets did not report it because they were afraid or ashamed.
  • More than 80 percent of respondents believed their governments should raise awareness of the issue in an effort to promote bullying prevention.
  • Nearly one-third of respondents believe that classroom discussions regarding bullying should be promoted.

The respondents attributed bullying to four causes:

  1. Adults do not see it.
  2. Kids are mean.
  3. It’s part of school.
  4. Several other reasons.

Those interested in reading the entirety of the UN report in which it appeared can find it here.

United States Bullying Statistics

As stated above, there are some similarities between bullying in the United States and bullying around the world as a whole.  According to StopBullying.gov, the following statistics relate to bullying in the United States:

  • 28 percent of students between grades 6 and 12 had experienced bullying.
  • Approximately 30 percent of young people admitted to bullying others.
  • More than 70 percent of young people admitted to having seen bullying in their schools.
  • More than 70 percent of school staff members admitted to seeing bullying.

Bullying Transcends Culture

When one looks at the reasons for bullying, it quickly becomes clear that there are few differences around the world in terms of bullying triggers.  According to data compiled by Pacer.org, the following are the three most common reasons for bullying in the United States:

  • Looks
  • Body shape
  • Race

These are some of the same reasons for bullying in different parts of the world.  People need to be aware of the fact that bullying can occur in any place, at any time and with any children.  Only then can we take effective steps towards bullying prevention.

Bullying Prevention – How Can You Help?

There are several ways that someone can help with bullying prevention.  Statistics show that if bullying is occurring, any intervention by a third party will bring that bullying to a stop more than half the time.  Therefore, adults need to be aware of their surroundings if they work or live with or around children.  If bullying is occurring, people need to step in first and foremost.  If that doesn’t seem like enough of a positive step, adults should report the bullying to those in a position to handle it.

Parents should also take on an active role in bullying prevention.  This all starts by establishing clear, comfortable and open lines of communication with your children.  They may not always want to talk to you about things, but they should always feel safe in doing so.  Parents should also watch for signs that their child may be the target of bullying and for signs that their child may be engaging in bullying.  If these warning signs arise, parents should take immediate action.

Warning Signs That a Child is Being Bullied

There are several common warning signs of bullying.  Examples include:

  • Unexplainable physical injuries
  • Loss of possessions including clothing, toys, backpacks and the like
  • Frequent requests to stay home from school
  • Falling grades
  • Social withdrawal
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • Sudden changes in eating habits

Warning Signs That a Child Is Bullying

There are also several common warning signs that a child is engaging in bullying.  These include:

  • A habit of teasing or taunting other children
  • A tendency to harm animals
  • Concern about being popular
  • Showing contempt for children who are different in any way
  • Playing aggressively
  • Getting into regular physical confrontations

If you see any of these warning signs, you need to investigate the situation further.  Stopping a bully is always a positive step, and failing to stop it could lead to much more difficult problems in the future.

Bullying Prevention – Children’s Rights Lawyers

There are some bullying situations that require a different level of intervention.  The children’s rights lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys fight for the rights of young people who have fallen victim to bullying.  We need to do everything we can within the norms of society to stamp out bullying, and holding those responsible for this type of harm accountable is one of those available remedies.  If you need help and you’re not sure where to turn, contact our firm immediately to schedule a free initial consultation.

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