Charity survey reveals one in five young people bullied in past 12 months

One in five young people have been bullied in the past 12 months, with three out of four saying it has impacted their mental health, new research has found.

Anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label on Monday released a report after surveying 2,347 people aged between 12 and 20 about their experiences of bullying and the impact it has had on them in the past year.

The survey found one in five young people in the UK were bullied in the past 12 months and one in 10 experienced it daily.

Three out of four people who were bullied said it impacted their mental health and nearly half became depressed as a result, the report found.

Of those bullied, 33% revealed in the survey that they had suicidal thoughts while 41% felt anxious as a result.

The report found 86% of young people said bullying had an impact on their confidence and 65% said it had affected their social life.

The survey also looked at why people bully others, with 59% saying it is because the other person deserved it or because they did not like them while 41% said it helped them deal with stress and 35% said they did it because it was funny.

More than half (59%) of people bullied believed they were targeted because of their physical appearance while 9% thought it was because of their race.

The most common type of bullying was verbal, followed by social exclusion, intimidation and physical assault, with cyber bullying the least common, the report said.

The survey also found 62% of respondents were bullied by a classmate and 37% were bullied by someone at school they did not know.

The Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield said the impact bullying has on children can be “enormous”, affecting their confidence, self-esteem and mental health.

“It is worrying that one in five children are experiencing some form of bullying,” she said in a statement.

“Ditch the Label’s survey shows how bullying is blighting the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.”

She said more needs to be done at home and in schools to help victims of bullying and to prevent it from happening in the first place.

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