Toronto, February 5, 2013 – A strong majority of Canadians (78 per cent) believe that not enough is being done to stop bullying in their communities, according to a new national survey commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) and Invesco Canada Ltd.
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 Ipsos Reid 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.
- 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 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 volunteer 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 Ipsos Reid survey was commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters to mobilize Canadians against bullying in their communities. From February through April, Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across Canada will be challenging individuals and companies to “step up and strike out bullying” by participating in fundraising bowling events called Bowl for Kids Sake.
“Ninety-five per cent of Canadians agree that freedom from bullying is the right of every child and teenager,” says Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC). “Clearly there is strong support for action to reduce bullying and its harmful effects on our communities. We invite Canadians to make a positive impact by participating or donating to the Bowl for Kids Sake event closest to them.”
People and businesses can donate to the Bowl for Kids Sake campaign or volunteer to fundraise by visiting www.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.
Canadians who want to stop bullying can also contact their local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency for information about local Bowl for Kids Sake events.
Invesco Canada is BBBSC’s national partner for Bowl for Kids Sake.
The Centennial Step Up to Strike Out Bullying Survey was conducted between December 10 and December 17, 2012. For this survey, a sample of 1,008 Canadians from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.
The precision of Ipsos online polls is calculated using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 per cent had all Canadians been surveyed. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error and measurement error.