In early 2012 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada released the Step Up to Strike Out Bullying survey throughout Canada which strongly determined that support was needed to reduce bullying and its harmful effects on our communities.
According to a national survey commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC), a strong majority of Canadians (78 per cent) believe that not enough is being done to stop bullying in their communities.
Three quarters of Canadians polled (76 per cent) think stronger anti-bullying legislation and stricter enforcement of those laws would be an effective way to reduce bullying. Ninety-four per cent of respondents also think that teachers and school administrators share responsibility for the prevention of bullying.
Moreover, 87 per cent of Canadians think that providing children and teenagers who bully others with a volunteer mentor is an effective intervention.
A reason why Canadians feel so strongly against bullying is that 59 per cent of those surveyed report they were abused by bullies as a child or teenager and 45 per cent believe they suffered lasting harm. The survey was designed to examine current attitudes about bullying. The research studied the incidence of different forms of bullying, long-term harmful effects and what Canadians perceive as the most effective ways to stop or reduce bullying.
Key Findings from the Step Up to Strike Out Bullying Survey:
- Among bullied Canadians, 72 per cent said they were teased in a manner designed to humiliate; 71 per cent experienced verbal abuse and taunting; 43 per cent were slapped, shoved, hit or beaten and five per cent experienced online ridicule and humiliation.
- 42 per cent of bullied Canadians believe they would have benefited from having a volunteer mentor, such as a Big Sister or Big Brother, to provide support.
- Among bullied Canadians who suffered lasting harm, injurious effects included lack of confidence (69 per cent); low self-esteem (53 per cent); depression (29 per cent); anger management issues (23 per cent) and poor academic achievement (20 per cent).
- School-based interventions to stop bullying are seen as an effective deterrent by 90 per cent of Canadians.
- 92 per cent of Canadians believe that peer pressure by those who witness or hear about acts of bullying is an effective intervention.
- 90 per cent of respondents also believe that intervention by parents to protect their child or stop their child from abusing others is effective.
- Public awareness campaigns for children and teenagers to encourage them not to bully and to intervene when they see acts of bullying are viewed as an effective intervention by 84 per cent of Canadians.
- Internet campaigns to identify and discourage bullies were perceived as an effective deterrent to prevent or reduce bullying by 72 per cent of respondents.
BBBSC is coming to the end of celebrating its 100th anniversary with a year-long public education campaign to give Canadians fresh insights into the societal value of youth mentoring.
The various youth mentoring services provided by volunteers of Big Brothers and Big Sisters have proven to be instrumental in reducing bullying and other related negative behaviours such as lack of interest in school; truancy; low self-esteem and drug and alcohol abuse.
The survey was commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters to mobilize Canadians against bullying in their communities.
Canadians who want to have an impact on striking out bullying can also contact their local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency for information about local mentoring programs and events.
Find out more about our mentoring programs >
Find an Big Brothers Big Sisters agency near you >