Three Quarters (78%) of Canadians Believe Not Enough is Being Done to Stop Bullying in Their Community While Nine in Ten (87%) Believe Providing A Mentor Could Help Reduce Bullying
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Toronto, ON – A reason why many Canadians feel so strongly against bullying is that many appear to have experienced similar situations growing up, according to a new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. Three in five (59%) Canadians cite being bullied during their childhood and teenage years, while two in five (41%) were never bullied. Of those that were bullied during their childhood and teenage years, seven in ten experienced ‘teasing designed to humiliate’ (72%) and ‘verbal abuse and taunting’ (71%). Two in five (43%) experienced ‘physical abuse such as being slapped, shoved, hit, or beaten’ while 5% have been ridiculed or humiliated on the Internet.
Interestingly, bullied Canadians under 25 (14%) are most likely to say they’ve been the victim of ridicule and humiliation on the Internet, compared to those under 35 (11%), middle aged (2%), aged 35-54, and seniors (3%), aged 55+.
Middle-aged (48%), tied with seniors, are most likely to have been physically abused, ahead of Canadians under 35 (32%), and those under 25 (31%).
Canadians under 25 (79%) and middle-aged Canadians (75%) are most likely to have experienced verbal abuse or taunting, followed by Canadians under 35 (72%) and Canadian seniors (66%).
Canadians under 35 (77%) and those who are middle-aged (75%) are most likely to have experienced teasing designed to humiliate, ahead of those under 25 (71%) and seniors (64%).
Two in five (42%) bullied Canadians believe that looking back on their own experience, ‘they would have benefitted from having a volunteer adult mentor, as part of a recognized community support program, who provided friendship and guidance to help build their self-esteem and confidence’. Three in ten (27%) don’t believe they would have benefitted from such guidance, while another three in ten (31%) don’t know if they would have had any benefit from such a program.
Half (45%) of those bullied in their childhood and teenage years believe that the bullying they suffered has had a ‘harmful’ (9% very/35% somewhat) lasting effect on them as an adult, while the remaining half (55%) believe that the lasting effect of the bullying has been ‘not harmful’ (19% not at all/36% not very). Those who’ve cited a lasting harm cite suffering a ‘lackf of confidence’ (69%), ‘low self-esteem’ (53%), ‘depression’ (29%), ‘anger management issues’ (23%), and ‘poor academic achievement’ (20%).
Methods of Prevention
With the impacts of bullying becoming more prevalent as the issue is made public, Canadians believe communities are still not doing enough to prevent this kind of abuse. Four in five (78%) Canadians ‘agree’ (37% strongly/41% somewhat) that ‘not enough is being done to stop bullying in my community’. Just one in five (21%) ‘disagree’ (2% strongly/19% somewhat) that their community is doing enough to stop bullying.
Most Canadians believe that providing a positive influence for bullies can also be an effective. Nine in ten (87%) ‘agree’ (30% strongly/57% somewhat) that ‘providing children and teens who bully others with an adult mentor to provide a positive influence in their lives is an effective way to reduce bullying’, while one in ten (13%) ‘disagree’ (3% strongly/11% somewhat). Canadians are nearly unanimous (95%) in their ‘agreement’ (79% strongly/16% somewhat) that ‘freedom from bullying is the right of every child and teenager’, with only 5% ‘disagreeing’ (1% strongly/3% somewhat).
Many Canadians believe stronger laws would help curb bullying and the lasting effects it causes. Another four in five (79%) ‘agree’ (38% strongly/40% somewhat) that ‘stricter laws and legislation are effective ways to address bullying’, while just one in five (21%) ‘disagree’ (4% strongly/18% somewhat) with this statement. Another potential way to prevent abuse is by pressuring those committing the acts. Four in five (83%) ‘agree’ (35% strongly/48% somewhat) that ‘peer pressure on bullies is a powerful way to prevent abuse’, while less than one in five (17%) ‘disagree’ (3% strongly/14% somewhat).
Three in ten (29%) Canadians believe that interventions to reduce bullying in their community is ‘effective’ (1% very/28% somewhat), while a similar proportion (30%) believe these interventions to be ‘not effective (5% not at all/25% not very). Two in five (41%) are not familiar with community anti-bullying programs.
Of a list of potential interventions aimed at preventing or reducing bullying, ‘peer pressure by those who witness or hear about acts of bullying’ (92%) is seen by Canadians as being most ‘effective’ (49% very/43% somewhat) for preventing or reducing bullying, while one in ten (8%) believe this would be ‘not very effective’. Nine in ten (90%) believe ‘counselling and direct intervention by teachers, administrators, or school-based conflict resolution experts’ or ‘intervention by parents either to protect their child or to stop their child from abusing others’ would be ‘effective’ interventions for preventing or reducing bullying, while one in ten (10%) believe these would be ‘not effective’.>>> “Bullying Statistics”