East : 1 in 4 Children Verbally Bullied

14 November 2011, 06:26 | Updated: 14 November 2011, 13:10

One in four children in East Anglia have been verbally bullied in the past year, according to figures released today by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

The research has been released to mark the start of the Anti-Bullying Week campaign which begins today.

This year, Anti-Bullying Week highlights the trend of verbal bullying and the casual use of derogatory language - a widespread phenomenon not just amongst school children, but in society as a whole.

The results show that around a quarter (26%) of 11-16 year olds have directly experienced  verbal bullying, with the vast majority (79%) happening at school. Almost 40% of respondents also reported being bullied online or my mobile phone.

Ross Hendry, Chair of the National Children's Bureau's Anti-Bullying Alliance, said: 'These figures highlight how much of a problem verbal bullying is.  Sometimes there is a tendency to see verbal bullying as being less serious than physical bullying. But the emotional and psychological impact can be just as damaging and may affect young people's self-esteem and confidence to the point where they don't want to go to school.'

For children and young people

  • Bullying is not your fault. It is always wrong and you do not have to put up with it.
  • Let someone know what is happening as soon as possible. Talk things through with a friend, your family, or your teachers. Do not do or say anything in response to the bully. Stay calm and remove yourself from the situation wherever possible. If it is happening through your phone or the internet, keep a copy of the messages or images but do not reply or respond.
  • Keep a note or a diary of what is happening.
  • Be confident - you have done nothing to deserve this.
  • Be assertive.
  • You could say 'This is not funny. This is bullying. This is wrong.'
  • Think who can help you - young people or adults.
  • Seek help from other young people e.g. school might have a peer mentor or buddy scheme
  • Say to someone 'Please would you watch what is happening here' and ask them to help you report the incident.
  • Sometimes it can help to talk to someone outside of the situation. You could call Childline on 0800 11 11

For Parents

Help for Parents

  • If you think your child is being bullied, don't panic- try to keep an open mind: Your key role is listening, calming and providing reassurance that the situation can get better when action is taken. Provide a quiet, calm place where they can talk about what is happening.
  • Listen and reassure them that coming to you was the right thing to do: It may not be easy for a child to talk about being bullied so it is important to try to find out how they are feeling, what has happened, when and where. Though at this stage it is not so much
  • about establishing a set of facts as encouraging, talking and listening.
  • Assure them that the bullying is not their fault and that you are there to support them: remind them that they can also have the support of family and friends.
  • Find out what the child or young person wants to happen: help them to identify the choices available to them and the potential next steps to take; and the skills they may have to help solve the problems.
  • Discuss the situation with your child's school: the law requires all schools to have a behaviour policy which sets out the measures that will be taken to encourage good behaviour and respect for others and to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. Parents can get advice and support from the Family Lives Parentline on 0808 800 2222 or at www.familylives.org.uk.

What did the research say for East Anglia?

How much of a problem do you think verbal bullying is in your school or local area?

East - 82%

Have you witnessed any verbal bullying in the last year?

East - 61%

Have you been verbally bullied in the last year?

East - 26%

Where did the verbal bullying happen to you?

At school - 77%
Online - 25%
Travelling to/from school - 22%
Phone/Text -7%

Have you ever considered missing school because you were worried about being verbally bullied?

East - 13%


Rita Adair from the Anti-Bullying Alliance