Anti-Bullying Week

by Sarah Myles

Twitter was buzzing with tweets about bullying on Monday, as Bullying UK (the national anti-bullying support and advice organisation) kicked off Anti-Bullying Week with a variety of Twitter discussions. 

Asking questions, such as "what would you tell your younger self?" and whether or not schools seem to be doing enough to stamp out bullying, the @bullyinguk Twitter feed generated some excellent points on the subject.

Twitter is a useful platform for this kind of campaign, and can work well to combat stigma. Many of the people responding to these discussions were emphasising the importance of communication, and getting people to report instances of bullying to trusted people.

I began Monday in a fairly jubilant mood, so I participated in these discussions at various points throughout the day, eager to show my support for the organisation and this week of raising awareness. However, I found that the subject matter had more of an effect on my mood than I was expecting. With every tweet, I felt like I was habitually picking at an old scab and, over time, I felt a huge amount of rage building.

By the end of the afternoon, I could almost feel my 7 year old self screaming in anger and frustration.

Of course I would tell her to stand up to the bullies, to report it all and tell a trusted adult. I would absolutely explain that bullying behaviour is a reflection of the bully's shortcomings rather than the victim's, and that often times bullies are themselves being victimised elsewhere. I would go to great lengths to demonstrate that, in 20 years time, she would be leading a happy and productive life.

But none of that would actually matter, because hindsight means nothing to a 7 year old who is being bullied right now. For a 7 year old, looking at another 10 years of school, the light at the end of the tunnel is too far away to see.

Those children need action and that is why Anti-Bullying Week, and the organisations involved, are so important. Awareness encourages vigilance. Yes, people must be encouraged to report bullying, but we mustn't rely upon them to ring the alarm bell. There are many, many warning signs that everyone should be on the look out for.

And of course, bullying is not something that happens only to children.

We need to prioritise long term support for the victims and - crucially - support for the bullies. Each person that bullies has a reason for doing it. Just as trimming a weed at ground level fails to get rid of it, bullying behaviour needs to be addressed at the root.


More information on Bullying UK can be found here: 


Sarah I'm so sorry to hear you were bullied at school. I was too. I was very studious and non-rebellious and very religious and a few people found it hard to cope with me and easy to bully and mock me, not really at primary school, but at secondary school.

Thank you for bringing Bullying Week to people's attention. Bullying comes in many forms, of course, but is always intolerable. You're so right that bullies need support too, to identify the cause of their behaviour and to address it, and they are often troubled individuals themselves.

Ian x

Thank you, Ian. Sorry to hear about your experiences. I'm so pleased we can discuss these issues in a place of understanding.

Thanks for your support.


Brilliant post with great points, support when people speak out is so important

Thank you for your kind comments.


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