NSPCC: What children are telling us about bullying
Bullying remains one of the most common reasons why children contact Childline (the second most common reason for boys and the third most common reason for girls) and makes up 9 per cent of all counselling sessions (25,740 sessions in 2015/16).
- Bullying is the most common reason for children aged 11 and under to contact us (almost 1 in 4 sessions with this age group were about bullying). Those aged 11 and under also saw the largest year-on-year increase in counselling about bullying – up 12 per cent when compared with 2014/15.
- Bullying has been one of the top five concerns every year since 1989.
- While overall, levels of counselling about bullying remain high, the way in which children are being bullied and what they are bullied about has changed over time.
- Physical bullying is the top bullying concern for children aged 11 and under; peer pressure is top for 12–15 year olds and online bullying for 16–18 year olds.
- We provided more counselling sessions about face-to-face bullying than online bullying last year. However, we have seen an 88 per cent increase in counselling about online bullying over the past 5 years.
- Bullying affects academic performance and is linked to mental and physical health problems. In a quarter of counselling sessions about bullying, children also talked about mental health and wellbeing issues.
- We also provide counselling to children who are worried about a friend or sibling who is being bullied, and to young people who are taking part in bullying behaviour themselves and seeking help on how to stop.
- Despite efforts from schools and organisations to respond to and reduce bullying, some children are contacting us because they are afraid to speak out or because they have seen that speaking out can make things worse. Other children have told us that speaking out is the only way to tackle the problem.