What is it?

Today, Friday the 15th of March is National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. It will be a day all schools join together and try to put a stop towards Bullying and Violence. It is a day all students, teachers and communities stand together to say no bullying and violence at school aren’t OK, they aren’t acceptable. It is to strengthen and show awareness to those who are suffering in silence, that they shouldn’t have to put up with it any longer.

Who runs it?

The national day falls on the third Friday of every March. It is organised by Australian education authorities through the Safe and Supportive School Communities Initiative. Schools can organise their own specific activities on the day in their communities.

What is identified as Bullying?

Bullying is the repeated verbal physical, social of psychological behaviour that is harmful towards the individual or group being targeted. Sometimes identifying bullying can be hard because as children grow up conflicts are expected, which is why people might be reluctant to report it.

It can happen face-to-face, at a distance or through communication technologies.

Modern-day online bullying: In the world we live in today, we are all connected to communication devices such as; Facebook, Twitter, SMS, chat rooms and email. Bullying has now merged onto the online sphere and spaces. Cyberbullying is a term that is used to describe bullying that has been conducted through the internet or communication devices. It can involve the sending of threatening messages, creating embarrassing content online about an individual and creating hate websites about a particular person. It can be an issue once children begin to use computers.

What is identified as harassment?

Harassment can occur when an individual is made to feel intimidated or humiliated because of their specific characteristics that make them unique. (Race, religion, identity, ability, economic status)

It can involve similar behaviours like bullying, but is often an ongoing act or pattern by a person of group of people. Sometimes it might be intentional, whereas other times it may be unintentional.

What is identified as violence?

Violence is a person or groups intentional use of physical force or power against another person which may result in harm or injury. It might be provoked acts that are a singular occurrence or repeated occurrences over time.

Who is affected by bullying?

Anyone can be affected by bullying, if not directly themselves it may be a friend or a family member that is close to them. Bullying continues to occur if no-one steps up and says something; putting a stop to it. One in four Year 4 to 9 students reports being bullied every few weeks or more in Australia
(Australian Covert Prevalence Bullying Study , May 2009,  Edith Cowan University) Less than one in 10 students reported bullying through technology during a school term. (Australian Covert Prevalence Bullying Study , May 2009,  Edith Cowan University) With such startling figures something must be done to stop it. People see it occurring all the time, but are too scared to speak up.

The National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence 2013 have devised a Stand Together Activity of encouraging bystanders to speak up.

Almost in all bullying situations there are “bystanders” who are witnesses to this injustice. Their role towards the bullying can often be complex and confusing. Not knowing how to intervene or what to do about what they have seen or witnessed. Schools in 2013 are encouraging “bystanders” to come forward, they need to know that they will be supported by the school and not to be afraid. The campaign in 2013 aims to focus on the impact and importance that bystander’s role can play in the identification and prevention of bullying and violence in schools.

What can I do if I am being bullied?

Don’t feel as if you are alone, there is always help available. Seek out assistance from an adult you trust such as; a teacher or parent. If not there are government agencies or initiatives which can help you. The Kids Helpline is always a source which may provide you with comfort and reassurance.

Kids Helpline (ages 5 to 25 years) 
1800 55 1800 (free call except from some mobile phones)
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

So in 2013, everyone stand together and stand up towards Bullying and Violence in Australian Schools and say, “BULLYING, NO WAY!!

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